Each year in late February and early March, we celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight at King’s. The fortnight is organised by the Fairtrade Foundation to raise awareness of Fairtrade products and the issues facing farmers around the world. This year’s theme is “Choose the world you want”, and it is organised around an online festival highlighting the links between Fairtrade and solutions to the climate crisis.
The climate crisis is one of the biggest threats to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers around the world, yet they have done the least to cause it. They face a number of climate-related threats such as more volatile seasons, floods and droughts, increased plant diseases and loss of fertile land. Many Fairtrade crops, such as coffee, are extremely vulnerable to changes in temperature, which means climate change is a significant concern for many farmers. Choosing Fairtrade products can support farmers facing the climate crisis by bringing farmers together into cooperatives, paying a minimum price, and paying the Fairtrade Premium on top of this. This means that farmers can prepare for disasters, invest in diversifying their crops for climate adaptation, and invest in sustainable farming practices.
King’s has been supporting Fairtrade for many years and has been a Fairtrade University since 2017. We are now part of the new Fairtrade University award which is run in partnership between the Fairtrade Foundation and Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK), and our Fairtrade Policy commits us to embedding Fairtrade throughout King’s. The coffee, tea and hot chocolate we serve at King’s and KCLSU are Fairtrade, and you will see many other Fairtrade products – from fruit juice and chocolate to fruits and nuts – at our outlets. We have also shifted to using Fairtrade ingredients in our kitchens, so baked goods made in-house meet our ambition of serving fairly traded and sustainable food.
This Fairtrade Fortnight, we held and supported two events on Fairtrade:
- On Monday, the 28th of February, the Fairtrade Universities Networking Group held an event with Bismark Kpabitey, a cocoa farmer from Ghana. After studying for his Bachelor of Business Administration Human Resource Management, he returned to farming and started his own cocoa farm in 2017. He is a member of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, who co-own Divine Chocolate, and shared his experience of cocoa farming, his role as a lead trainer for dynamic agroforestry, and his experience of attending COP26.
- On Tuesday, the 1st of March, we held an event on embedding Fairtrade into organisations, featuring our Operations Sustainability Manager Nicola Hogan, Co-CEO of Tierra Foods Marcela Flores, and Andy Ashcroft from Kool Skools. Nicola, Marcela and Andy shared their experiences of working on Fairtrade issues, from finding suppliers and factories that can supply products to engaging students and customers.
In addition to this, this year’s Pancake Day fell within Fairtrade Fortnight. To celebrate this, King’s Food offered a special Fairtrade caramelized banana pancake at their outlets – and they looked delicious!
If you would like to get involved in Fairtrade at King’s, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. You can find out more about our Fairtrade plans and actions on the King’s website, or join the Fairtrade and Sustainable Food Steering Group which oversees many of our Fairtrade initiatives. If you are interested in researching Fairtrade, or even doing your dissertation on it, we have a list of potential dissertation topics on our website – including Fairtrade, trade justice, and ethical consumption.
You can also get involved in our Fairtrade University Award by applying to audit King’s at our upcoming Fairtrade University Audit in May. You can find some information on our Fairtrade webpage, or view the role description here. To apply, please fill out this form by the 20th March 2022.
And remember, all coffee at King’s Food is Fairtrade – so if you use the King’s Move app, you can support Fairtrade by being active and using your reward points to get Fairtrade hot drinks!