The University of Brighton is a recipient of the new Fairtrade University and College Award.
The prize was awarded to the university for its work in raising awareness of ethical consumption and for selling a range of Fairtrade products on campus.
The University of Brighton was one of 12 higher education and further education institutions that formed part of a pilot cohort over the last academic year. Representatives from the university and Students’ Union worked closely with the other pilot institutions to create new ways for universities and colleges to engage with Fairtrade and ethical produce.
Volunteer student auditors were recruited by the university and trained by the National Union of Students and the Fairtrade Foundation to assess what actions had been carried out during the pilot, equipping them with transferrable skills and auditing experience.
The university’s environmental staff, Students’ Union and hospitality services collaborated to host a range of events, promotions and activities to promote Fairtrade over the last six months.
Joanna Milis, Education Campaigns Manager from the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “There is a huge appetite among students to understand the impact the products they buy are having on the people and the planet.
“It is so important to enable students to have access to information about this at a time when they are forming their values and habits for life.”
Research conducted by the NUS shows that 90% of University of Brighton students say they “want to buy more products that don’t harm the people that produce them”.
Lucy Kimberley, Environmental Officer at the university, said: “We’re really proud to have been awarded Fairtrade status and we hope it has made our students, staff and visitors more aware of our commitment to support sustainable, fair and local procurement.”