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University wins Fairtrade status

The University of St Andrews has been awarded Fairtrade status.

Twelve months of hard work by students and staff alike have paid off, giving the University official recognition for its contribution to ‘fair trade’ – a growing, international movement working to ensure that producers in poor countries get a fair deal.

The University is one of only three Scottish universities to achieve the status.

St Andrews became a ‘Fairtrade town’ on St Andrew’s Day 2005 (30 November).

‘Fair trade’ means producers receiving a fair price for their goods (one that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living); long-term contracts which provide real security; and, for many, support to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to develop their businesses and increase sales.

The University worked hard to meet numerous strict criteria to achieve the goal. The Students’ Association and University had to create a Fairtrade policy and set up a Fairtrade steering group. On a practical level, it means that Fairtrade foods are now on sale in all University shops and in all University cafes – for example café@gateway. Fairtrade food and drink is also served at meetings hosted by the University and Students’ Association. On a more general note, the University and Students’ Association have pledged to be wholly committed to increasing Fairtrade consumption. Both will be working closely with the Students’ Association’s One World Society and the St Andrews Fairtrade Town Campaign to further raise awareness of Fairtrade issues among staff, students and the local community.

Roddy Yarr, the University’s Environment and Energy Manager said, “We can all make socially responsible choices. For example, just think of all the tea, coffee and chocolate you consume in a week. By purchasing Fairtrade products you can do your bit in improving the trading conditions of the most disadvantaged producers”.

Georgina Rannard, One World Fairtrade Campaign co-ordinator said, “The Fairtrade Campaign is really pleased and excited that we have finally reached this stage after four years of hard work. This declaration pays tribute to the growing importance and impetus behind the Fairtrade movement. It is really encouraging to see that fellow students are acknowledging their social responsibility to the developing world, and we hope that this trend only grows within the University”.

The Fairtrade mark provides an independent guarantee to consumers that farmers in developing countries get a fair deal for their products. Products currently covered by the mark are coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, honey, bananas, sugar, orange juice, and mangoes. Also where any of these products are the key ingredient in another product, for example snack bars.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

You are invited to send a photographer to the Old Union Diner, North Street, St Andrews at 2.30pm on Wednesday 12 April 2006 when Simon Pepper, University Rector will gather for Fairtrade tea/coffee/snacks with students and Roddy Yarr, Environment and Energy Manager.

Issued by Beattie Media – www.beattiegroup.com On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, please contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk; Ref: press releases/fairtrade View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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