Image Description: A picture of the top of the Radcliffe Camera
Oxford University will be participating in Fairtrade Fortnight from the 22nd of February to the 7th of March, an annual event across the country.
Oxford University is a Fairtrade institution and many central university and college catering services provide and use Fairtrade products. This year the event will be online with talks from different organisations on the importance of Fairtrade and its effect on issues such as the climate crisis.
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is focused on ‘Choose the world you want’ and ‘Climate, Fairtrade and You’ highlighting the link between ethical farming practices and sustainability. The Oxford University website states that “farmers and workers in the global south, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected”.
It has become easier and easier to shop Fairtrade with the logo clearly visible on produce, this year’s theme of choice emphasises the impact the individual can have on ethical farming practices. This is very topical with the climate emergency pushing students in school and universities to take action through protests.,as well as high profile figures such as David Attenborough pushing the importance of taking action to tackle climate change.
The emergence of COVID-19 has brought new challenges to farmers and the poverty faced in farming communities has made coping with the pandemic and climate change more difficult. Fairtrade Fortnight helps to recognise the difficulties these communities face and make small changes to help improve their situations.
Talks this year include:
‘Guardian Live: How is the climate crisis impacting the global food supply?’ Monday 22nd February, 7pm
‘Virtual Quiz night with Eventures and Nick Hewer’ Friday 5th March, 7:30 pm
‘Climate Change Garden: Growing sustainably in the climate crisis’ Saturday 6th March, 11 am
Ben Farmer, VP Charities and Communities Sabbatical Officer at Oxford SU said:
“Whilst some may criticise the scheme, its basic premise and values are hard to argue with. Ensuring that producers get a fair price for what they make is really important. As a big buyer of products and influential voice in Oxford and beyond, Oxford’s Fairtrade University status provides an opportunity for the University to show leadership through clear actions.”
“At the Oxford SU we’ve been really pleased to work with the University on the new Sustainability Strategy which students have engaged with in their thousands to help shape the bold and ambitious targets we need the University to focus on. Of course there’s always more to do and at Oxford SU we remain committed to working with the collegiate University to support decisive action on the environment crisis we face. A key part of this is making supply chain switches, such as to Fairtrade suppliers which will enable us to ‘Choose the world we want’.”