UWE Bristol Fairtrade progress and best practice

Fairtrade policy and progress

UWE Bristol are proud to have been an accredited Fairtrade University since 2006. During this time, we have used Fairtrade to raise awareness of issues of social and economic justice, environmental resilience, climate change, gender equality and global citizenship within our university community.

Commitment to Fairtrade from staff and students has grown over the years and is evidenced in our procurement practices, product offer and sales in our shops and cafes, our public engagement work with staff students and visitors, our work within the curriculum and our student volunteering opportunities. 

Renewed Fairtrade university status is being sought under the recently revised system of accreditation by the Fairtrade Universities and Colleges Award programme, (a partnership between the Fairtrade Foundation, NUS and SOS-UK, with support from the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges). As required, student auditors will be involved in scrutiny of our work and we welcome their input and scrutiny.

Sale of Fairtrade products

Fairtrade products are available for purchase in all our campus shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. The Students' Union at UWE stocks over 25 products in its shops and are committed to increasing their range. In addition, they run an award-winning coffee cart stocking only Fairtrade drinks and snacks.

Fairtrade food and drink at UWE Bristol

Watch our video about Fairtrade food and drink at UWE Bristol to find out what we have been doing to boost sales of Fairtrade products around campus.

Hospitality and conferencing

Over 65% of teas, coffees and sugar are Fairtrade with the exception of Lavazza (with its own fairly traded scheme), PG Tips and Nescafe who are accredited under the Rainforest Alliance, and Twinings who are accredited under the Ethical Tea Partnership. In the conference centre, Fairtrade teas, coffee and sugar are automatically provided. Where staff provide their own drinks (eg in offices) they are automatically offered Fairtrade options.

Fairtrade promotion

UWE Bristol works closely with The Students' Union at UWE to campaign for increased Fairtrade consumption across all campuses. This is done on an ongoing basis to ensure awareness is maintained throughout the year and includes:

  • promoting Fairtrade to all students, staff, and visitors at UWE Bristol through staff welcome fairs, student and staff inductions, and through work done by students as part of their curriculum
  • experimenting with creative forms of promotion and sale such as the Fairtrade meal deal in Feelgood February
  • advertising of Fairtrade products where they are sold, including the provision of free tasters and 10% off promotion of drinks and products at all bars and cafes
  • organising events during Fairtrade Fortnight every February/March and during Sustainability Week every October, for example, Fairtrade outdoor cinema with free tea, Fairtrade breakfasts and Fairtrade pancake day and office Fairtrade break events
  • encouraging and supporting students to do study projects on Fairtrade within their courses.

Supporters' network

To progress on the agenda, a joint UWE Bristol/The Students' Union at UWE stakeholder group meets regularly and annual SMART action plans are agreed as stipulated under the new accreditation. Download our SMART action plan for 2021/22. The group is made up as a minimum by the following stakeholders, but any student or staff member are invited to attend.

  • Hospitality General Services Manager
  • The Students' Union at UWE Retail Manager
  • The Students' Union at UWE elected representative
  • Sustainability team Engagement Coordinator
  • Procurement team representative
  • The Students' Union at UWE Green Team Co-ordinator
  • The Students' Union at UWE Green Team student representative/s

Contact the Sustainability team or The Students' Union at UWE Green Team if you have any queries.

External recognition

We have shared good practice and gained external recognition in the form of success at the South West Fairtrade Business awards and the Environmental Universities and Colleges Green Gown awards in the Food and Drink category for our work on Fairtrade.

In 2018/19 we were finalists in the South West Business awards:

  • Full of Beans coffee cart was an outright winner in the ‘Cafe or restaurant’ category.
  • Gold award for Phaz Cafe.
  • Best Fairtrade UniversityUWE Bristol won the gold award.

And on the national stage, in 2017 we were finalists in the Environmental Universities and Colleges Green Gown awards in the Food and Drink category for our work on Fairtrade.