In working towards our sustainable development aims, we commit to incorporating environmental and social considerations into our food product and service selection process.
We support marginalised farmers in the developing world by using and promoting the use of Fairtrade products wherever possible. In short, we will strive to exert the influence we have in our buying power to encourage more sustainable food production and consumption.
What is the University doing?
With the Fairtrade and Sustainable Food policies now agreed, positive steps have been taken to move the agenda forward in these areas.
The University recently gained the Soil Association Food for Life Catering Bronze award for the Myton Servery in Staff House. This means that food service has successfully met a number of criteria, including not using GM ingredients, seasonal menus with clearly-marked produce, and meat from farms satisfying UK welfare standards [learn more about the Food for Life awards]. This approach will be improved on and rolled out to other catering outlets in the near future.
The University and Hull University Union both had Fairtrade policies signed off by senior management. This is in support of a joint effort for the University to regain its 'Fairtade University' status. To become a Fairtade University an institution must convince the Fairtrade Foundation that it has made a commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade by providing evidence that it meets the five goals to become a Fairtrade University. Both are working together to meet the criteria.
Look out for sustainable food and Fairtrade announcements and events in the near future!
What can I do as a student or member of staff?
The obvious thing you can do as an individual is buy Fairtrade products, whether from catering outlets on campus, a dedicated Fairtrade/ethical shop in your area or from supermarkets. Over 3,000 products, from coffees to flowers, are now Fairtrade-certified, with the number increasing all the time. If the catering outlet or shop you go to does not sell the Fairtrade products you want, ask the manager why.
Make sure you buy Fairtrade tea and coffee for your office tea club.
Off campus, look in your local Fairtrade/ethical shop in Hull and the East Riding. These are usually part of the British Association for Fairtrade Shops (BAFTS), which often offer product ranges not available in mainstream stores. Some local church and Fairtrade town groups also have a stall or events selling products. They are also available in supermarkets, other shops and cafés.
Please also remember to look out for Fairtrade or sustainable food events on campus; support them and spread the word.