UWTSD celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight, which began on Monday 26th February.

Father John at podium

This year, UWTSD is looking forward to welcoming Father John Joseph of the WSS Organic Farmers Fairtrade Association, who will be coming to deliver a talk on his work with organic farmers in Kerala, India.

The talk will be followed by a debate on Fairtrade which will be hosted by the university’s Sustainability Delivery Team. The event will be held at UWTSD’s Carmarthen campus on Wednesday 7th March. It will be held in T&L14 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and all are welcome to attend.

Green Engagement Officer Jenny Lloyd said: “Fairtrade Fortnight is our annual celebration of the work of the Fairtrade Foundation and our status as a Fairtrade University. A big part of our commitment as a Fairtrade University is to demonstrate to our staff and the students the life-changing impact that purchasing Fairtrade products has on food producers across the world, so we are delighted to be welcoming Father John Joseph and Fairtrade Wales to our Carmarthen campus to celebrate with us.”

Fr John founded WOFFA in 2008 with 400 small-scale farmers in the rural Wayanad region of Kerala, India, known for its panoramic views and the diversity of indigenous tribal communities.

The association arose out of the need to organise, gain knowledge and tackle social, economic and environmental challenges facing farming families.

Under his leadership, WOFFA has grown to almost 8,000 registered members – all certified Fairtrade and organic farmers – who are organised under 450 village groups. It is now the biggest organic and Fairtrade producer organisation in India.

WOFFA Coffee is the main source of income for the farmers, whose farms are 1.5 acres on average. Spices (including pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, and cloves) and vegetables are also farmed, some of which are also sold as Fairtrade.

As part of the Fairtrade association, farmers are helped to create a positive cycle of investment to ensure better productivity and storage. As an organised sector of agricultural communities, the farmers take part in training and workshops which update traditional knowledge of good farming practices.

20% of the total members of WOFFA are women farmers, who now own land and decide how their income should be spent.

The success of promoting Fairtrade at UWTSD is a partnership between the Student Union and the University.  In terms of the catering offer, the University’s catering staff works with the student body to ensure a good provision of Fairtrade products. Fairtrade tea, coffee, and sugar are available at all meetings at UWTSD and the University also sells juices and snacks in its catering outlets, with Fairtrade wine being available at all University events. Catering staff use Fairtrade ingredients in some of their home-made cakes too.

Further Information

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