Further underscoring Saint Michael's College mission as a socially responsible and green institution, the college was named the first Fair Trade college in Vermont in February 2012.
To be declared a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael's agreed to a campus-wide Fair Trade Resolution and Fair Trade Procurement Policy. These were accepted by the Student Association, the Faculty Assembly and the Administration in Fall 2011.
"The Food Justice club hammered this resolution out first, and got it passed by the Student Association," said Political Science Professor Jeffrey Ayres, advisor to the club. "Being a Fair Trade College fits our mission of social justice."
As a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael's resolved 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 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 has taken 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 sponsors included 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.
Offiicial status was granted at a Fair Trade Café ceremony, as sanctioned by Fair Trade Universities, on Thursday, February 23. The campus community was invited to the Café which included 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 included Sandy Wynne, Burlington Fair Trade Network , 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 and Andrew Driscoll '09, Equal Exchange.