This blog post was written by Maria Rabanser, King’s Sustainability Officer.
King’s College London and KCLSU have been re-certified as a Fairtrade University by the Fairtrade Foundation and Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK), achieving two stars in our recent student-led audit.
The Fairtrade University scheme promotes fair and ethical consumption in universities. Universities taking part have to meet a set of mandatory criteria, such as offering Fairtrade coffee and tea as standard, and holding events for Fairtrade Fortnight. In addition, there are criteria on leadership and strategy, campaigning and influencing, procurement, retail and catering, and research and curriculum.
Since earning our first star in 2020, we have worked on our 2020-2022 Fairtrade Action Plan with the aim of achieving two stars in our 2022 audit. For example, King’s Food continuously look for new Fairtrade products and ingredients to add to their menus and outlets. Rather than only offering Fairtrade for branded products such as chocolate bars, King’s Food source Fairtrade cocoa and sugar for use in their kitchens, meaning many of the in-house baked goods on sale from outlets include Fairtrade ingredients. During International Coffee Week in 2021, King’s Food invited their coffee supplier Bewley’s to speak to students and staff about the sourcing of their coffee, and during Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 they offered Fairtrade pancakes on Pancake Day. The King’s Sustainability team offers support and data for students who would like to research ethical supply chains or consumption as part of their dissertations, collaborates with other Fairtrade universities on ideas and events, and ensures fair and ethical trade are considered in university-wide initiatives such as the King’s Climate Action Network.
If you would like to get involved in our Fairtrade work, there are many opportunities to do so. Our Fairtrade and Sustainable Food Steering Group is open to all at King’s, and meets four times per year to discuss food sustainability and Fairtrade at King’s and KCLSU. We are also encouraging students or student societies who would like to collaborate on events on ethical consumption, trade justice or Fairtrade to get in touch with us. If you would like to learn more, or have ideas for how we can further promote Fairtrade at King’s, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.