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 for two years was awarded in July 2022 by the Fairtrade Universities and Colleges Award programme (a partnership between the Fairtrade Foundation and SOS-UK). UWE Bristol is now seeking renewed status for 2024–2026. Our application for the award is scrutinised by UWE Bristol student auditors who are trained by SOS-UK.

Sale of Fairtrade products

Fairtrade products are available for purchase in all our campus shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants to give students, staff and members of the public the opportunity to make a positive and ethical choice about how to spend their money. The Students' Union at UWE stocks over 25 products in its shops and are committed to increasing their range, most recently adding Fairtrade T-shirts by Neutral an international clothing company and Fairtrade shampoo and conditioner bars.

Hospitality and events

Over 64% of teas, coffees and sugar are Fairtrade; we also serve PG Tips and Nescafe who are accredited under the Rainforest Alliance, and Twinings who are accredited under the Ethical Tea Partnership. For events, 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 Fairtrade on an ongoing basis to ensure that 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 break deal and student Fairtrade bake sales in Fairtrade Fortnight
  • advertising of Fairtrade products where they are sold, including the provision of free tasters and 10% off promotion of products in the Students Union shop and hot drinks and cakes in cafes
  • organising events during Fairtrade Fortnight every February/March and during UWE Sustainability Fortnight every Autumn, for example, Fairtrade outdoor cinema with free tea, Fairtrade pancake day and Fairtrade staff coffee breaks
  • encouraging and supporting students to do study projects on Fairtrade within their courses.

Supporters' network

To progress the agenda, a joint UWE Bristol/The Students' Union at UWE stakeholder group meets regularly and annual SMART action plans are agreed in accordance with the national Fairtrade award guidelines. To find out more about our progress and targets, download our SMART action plan for 2023/24, our annual report and survey results.

The group is made up as a minimum by the following stakeholders, but any student or staff member are invited to attend.

  • The Students' Union at UWE elected representative
  • The Students' Union at UWE Sustainability Engagement Co-ordinator
  • Hospitality General Services Manager and Administration and Systems Manager
  • The Students' Union at UWE Commercial Services Director
  • Sustainability Team Engagement Lead
  • Procurement Team representative – Head of Procurement

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

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