Victoria University Fair Trade Accreditation

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Education Act 1989, pt 14, s 162(4):
       ‘[…] universities have all the following characteristics […]’
                (v)   They accept a role as critic and conscience of society

The fact that in 2017 the producers of our food continue to be denied a fair wage while multinational companies continue to grow rich is shocking. If we are to see this change, that change must be led by us; the consumers, the forward thinkers, the future leaders - the universities. 

Fair trade is helping more and more growers in the developing world to break poverty cycles, provide for their families and create a better future for themselves and their communities. As an institution which professes our values to be respect, responsibility, fairness, integrity and empathy, this is something we must support. 

Wellington became the first Fair Trade capital city in the southern hemisphere in 2009. It's about time that the university which so often represents our capital truly represents our values. Otago University made the commitment to Fair Trade in 2013. If Victoria is truly committed to being a world-leading, 'global-civic' university, we must act now.

We need the University Council to pass a resolution stating the university's commitment to Fair Trade and obliging all university stakeholders to prioritise Fair Trade wherever possible. From there, all we would need to gain accreditation is for 30% of campus retailers to sell just one Fairtrade product (which we have already achieved), to promote Fair Trade on campus and to use Fairtrade products in at least 50% of Student Union and University Council meetings, department and student union offices, kitchenettes and staff rooms. A steering group would also need to be created to ensure that the university meets the requirements of being a Fair Trade Accredited University. 

'Victoria will be respected for leading thinking on the major issues confronting environmental, societal, cultural and economic well-being, for resolutely fulfilling its ‘critic and conscience’ role and for its contribution to the betterment of society.'

We, the students of Victoria University of Wellington, accept the role of critic and conscience of society. We must ensure that our university's actions align with our values and that products sold on our campus do not contribute to the appalling poverty of the people producing them. We must commit to Fair Trade. We must join the movement.

Know your mind.



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