Saint Michael’s College has been named a Fair Trade College, the first in Vermont, and will be granted that official status at a Fair Trade Café ceremony as sanctioned by Fair Trade Universities on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in St. Edmund’s Hall Farrell Room (#315). The community is invited to the Café which includes a forum of speakers, a sampling of Fair Trade products and the signing of the Fair Trade College certificate by President Jack Neuhauser.
Participants in the Fair Trade Café forum include:
Sandy Wynne—Burlington Fair Trade Network and SMC Alum
- Rob Michalak—Ben and Jerry’s Global Director of Social Mission
- Gabriela Ochoa Brenneman—Peace and Justice Center Program Director and Burlington Fair Trade Network
- Andrew Driscoll—Equal Exchange and SMC Alum
Fair Trade accepted by students, faculty and administration
To be declared a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael’s passed and agreed to a campus wide Fair Trade Resolution and Fair Trade Procurement Policy. These were accepted by the SMC Student Association (10-11-11), the SMC Faculty Assembly (10-21-11), and the SMC Administration (Cabinet) (10-31-11).
“The Food Justice club hammered this resolution out first, and got it passed by the Student Association,” said Political Science Professor, Dr. Jeffrey Ayres, adviser to the club. “Being a Fair Trade College fits our mission of social justice,” he said.
As a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael’s resolves to
- Work with the college food service contractor to make Fair Trade coffee, tea and bananas available in the dining facilities at all times.
- Work with the food service contractor to make Fair Trade coffee and tea available for college held events.
- Commit to integrate Fair Trade information and events into the programs and culture of the college, and ensure that the principles of Fair Trade continue to be part of the policy and social fabric of our community
Fair Trade principles
Fair Trade focuses on strict economic, social and environmental criteria in the production of trade and agricultural products such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bags and clothing, therefore Saint Michael's College takes the following steps:
- Saint Michael’s recognizes that what we purchase, eat, and drink impacts producers and the environment.
- Saint Michael’s hopes to improve working conditions of farmers and producers of agricultural and trade goods around the world.
- Through this project, Saint Michael’s aims to curtail the evils of child and slave labor which have been found to be prevalent in the production of chocolate and clothing.
- Through Fair Trade, Saint Michael’s supports sustainable farming techniques that protect the environment.
- Saint Michael’s commits additionally to educate the campus about the importance of Fair Trade.
- Saint Michael’s aspires to build on its Fair Trade status by making other Fair Trade products available over the longer term to the members of its campus community.
Fair Trade Café sponsoring groups include: Saint Michael’s Food Justice, Green-Up, and Peace and Justice Clubs; Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Council, Political Science Department and Environmental Studies Program, and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.