Fairtrade and NUS pilot new University and College Award scheme

From September 2017, NUS and the Fairtrade Foundation are teaming to pilot a new Fairtrade Award for Universities and Colleges across the UK.

Fair Trade is a partnership between consumers in developed countries and producers in developing countries.  The role of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) is to embed the values of Fair Trade in all aspects of Scottish society and to maintain Fair Trade Nation status for Scotland and build upon that achievement.

The student movement is central to the rapidly growing success of Fair Trade in Scotland.  Engaging with the Fair Trade movement allows students and staff to demonstrate support and commitment to producers in developing countries.  Increasing the use and sales of Fair Trade products on campus positively affects producers’ lives.  Achieving Fairtrade status is an expression of global responsibility and an understanding of the positive social impact made.

Who has status?

The colleges currently with Fairtrade status are:

  • Forth Valley College – the first college to be awarded Fairtrade status in March 2011, with status renewed for the fourth time in 2016
  • City of Glasgow College – ‘It is part of our commitment to sustainability, international development and to offering wider choice to the people who work, study and visit with us. It is particularly encouraging to see our students so involved in promoting and fundraising for Fair Trade causes which both raise awareness and provide an invaluable learning curve.’
  • Glasgow Clyde College – ‘We have been working in conjunction with the Student Association, staff, suppliers and students for several years to gain Fairtrade status. We have increased the range of Fairtrade products within the canteen, hosted events and workshops with our suppliers and have worked tirelessly to embed Fair Trade into the ethos of the College.’


Fairtrade status is awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation – the first stage in the process is to fill in the application on the Fairtrade Foundation website and email it back to them.

Case study

Since achieving Fairtrade status in March 2011 Forth Valley College, in partnership with the Students’ Association has engaged in the following:

  • increased the use of Fairtrade food products in its training kitchens and refectories
  • raised awareness of Fair Trade amongst students
  • incorporated the teaching of the Fair Trade ethos into the curriculum of several departments including: Access and Progression, Care, Health and Sport and Hospitality
  • incorporated a dynamic Fair Trade policy for the College through the Estates and Facilities Management Departments
  • held various events to promote Fair Trade
  • produced a children’s book which explored Fair Trade: ‘The Adventures of Jolly Trolley’ was written by a group of HNC Early Education and Childcare students and illustrated by a former Forth Valley College Art and Design student. This was recognised by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum in 2016 when they were awarded the Scottish Fair Trade Forum’s Award for Innovation.
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