UWTSD takes part in new University and College Award scheme


University of Wales Trinity Saint David is proud to announce our participation in a pilot scheme for a new Fairtrade Award for universities and colleges that is being run in partnership between Fairtrade and NUS. The university is one of 12 UK universities and colleges who will be participating in the scheme and the results will form a basis for a new award that will be launched nationwide.

Group with Fairtrade branding

Tom Yearley, Head of Sustainability Delivery at UWTD, said: "The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is very excited and honoured to be part of this pilot project. We have already had substantial involvement with the Fairtrade movement, from using Fairtrade food items in our catering outlets to participating in events such as Fairtrade Fortnight and running Fairtrade student internships. To be invited to be part of this project is recognition of the university's commitment to sustainable development. We are very much looking forward to sharing our knowledge and informing future practice for other institutions."  

Joanna Milis, Education Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “The current Fairtrade University and Colleges Award has been running since 2003 and started out very much about student campaigning. We recognise that there are many different ways that universities engage with Fairtrade and lots of opportunities to deepen their engagement with issues around trade and power in supply chains, and looking at the procurement and policies within their own institutions. The new award will bring together the expertise from the Fairtrade Foundation and the NUS to offer something new and exciting to support institutions.”

Over the last few years, UWTSD has been awarded a number of accolades linked to sustainability, including winning a First Class Award and being ranked 8th out of 151 universities across the UK and 1st in Wales in the People & Planet University League 2015. It was the first university in the UK to achieve a Food for Life Gold Catering Mark from the Soil Association for its banqueting and events services across all campuses and won three awards in the 2015 Green Gown Awards.

Fairtrade is a grassroots movement supported by schools, towns and churches that hold a Fairtrade Award across the UK. This new award will celebrate how even more people, including students, are helping to support farmers and workers on Fairtrade farms across the world. Growing awareness of Fairtrade will help build the market for producers, ensuring they receive a fair wage and income in order to improve the futures of their families and communities.

Robbie Young, NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) said: “We’re seeing an increasing concern from students about their impact to the planet and how the choices they make affect people down the supply chain. The values of Fairtrade are part of the core values of our student movement and we should be proud to celebrate the achievements of students’ unions. Thousands of students and unions have already shown the power and value of Fairtrade but initiatives like this one will provide a platform for further success.”

Note to Editor

The changes in the proposed new award scheme reflect demand from participants for more scope for continual improvement, recognition of their wider ethical sourcing efforts and more ideas and support to engage students, staff and their wider community with Fairtrade in new ways. All key aspects of the award will be co-developed in partnership with the pilot participants. Proposed key differences in the new award are:

  • The introduction of new themes and actions in the award criteria, offering opportunity for deeper engagement across a broader range of areas.
  • The introduction of tiered award levels to enhance scope for continual improvement and long-term engagement.
  • Scope for recognition of wider ethical sourcing and trade justice efforts beyond Fairtrade certified products.
  • The introduction of an on-site audit, undertaken by trained student auditors through NUS’s highly successful existing student auditor programme.
  • Enhanced support from NUS and Fairtrade: New resources, tools and support to ensure universities and colleges can make the most of their participation and achieve their goals.
  • More scope for measuring impact: Through NUS’s programme of student surveys and database of over 700k students, improved monitoring will show the impact the award scheme is having on attitudes, understanding and ethical consumption and sourcing practice in the HE and FE sector.
  • The introduction of award scheme participation fees for universities, (low or no fee for colleges- TBC), to ensure that Fairtrade and NUS can sustainably offer an enhanced award scheme that meets the needs of the sector and provides good value for money.

Pilot audits will take place in May-June 2018 and successful participants will receive their Fairtrade Awards shortly after. The new award scheme will be launched nationwide from summer 2018.

The 62 Universities and Colleges that already have up-to-date Fairtrade status under the existing award scheme will maintain this status during the pilot scheme. Applications for renewals due before summer 2018 will be assessed under the existing criteria. Applications for renewals from summer 2018 onwards will be assessed under the new award scheme criteria.

Further Information

For further information, please email: press@uwtsd.ac.uk