By Mark Farmer
Fairtrade Fortnight is up and running at DMU and is seeing students from across campus take part in the event.
The promotion at DMU will see two weeks of Fairtrade awareness events, co-ordinated mainly by Environmental and Sustainability Officer Karl Letten.
One focus of their campaign is the slogan, ‘sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers’.
Karl, 45, said: “This year we are aiming to get students sitting down for breakfast and eating Fairtrade products.
“We have been working with the university caterers who have laid on Fairtrade breakfast during the fortnight.”
Today students had the choice of Fairtrade porridge oats topped with Fairtrade bananas or chocolate.
DMU is recognised as being a Fairtrade university by the Fairtrade Foundation – the governing body of Fairtrade, which controls the logo and the rules of trade.
Karl said: “I am very pleased students are becoming aware of global issues and fairness.
“Students expect their institution to provide a fair deal and living for those who make these products.”
That is just what De Montfort University is doing this year as they use Fairtrade products in their promotional events and even in their varsity fixtures.
“Fairtrade footballs will be used in both the women’s and men’s football varsity fixtures this evening,” Karl said.
He added: “The footballs were hand-stitched in Pakistan and will see the workers paid a fair wage for their work.”
The Fairtrade logo has lent itself to items such as coffee, bananas, chocolate and evening clothing as it aims to provide more workers a fair deal.
The university also has to maintain its Fairtrade status after being granted, which it is doing through points of assessment.
These are: policy, products on campus, products in events and commitment to promoting Fairtrade.
Karl said: “This sort of things can make quite a bit of difference to those who benefit from Fairtrade.”