The climate crisis is an immediate and ever-increasing threat and those in climate vulnerable countries are already seeing its impacts from droughts and crop disease to floods, heatwaves and shrinking harvests.
What is Ethical Food & Fairtrade Fortnight?
For two weeks each year, the University, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the World share the stories of people who grow our food, drinks and the cotton in our clothes; people who are often exploited and underpaid. We collectively come together in a show of support for the farmers behind our food on the front line of the climate crisis. We aim to support these individuals in making ethical and Fairtrade produce.
Ethical Food & Fairtrade Fortnight Through The Years
If you want to get a sense of what’s occurred in previous years, then look no further than these below activity highlights!
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight focussed on the simple message that making the switch to Fairtrade helps the planet and supports producers in protecting the future of some of our most-loved food. Activities included:
- The launch of our ‘Climate Café’ a periodic meet up hosted by the Sustainability Team where students and staff can meet informally to talk about their concerns, new habits and desires for a better World.
- All outlets provided a discount on Fairtrade products and provided information on what it means for the customer.
- Free Fairtrade Coffee tasting sessions were held by our catering contractor Graysons’ in their outlets to highlight its importance and to showcase the suppliers of the cafes.
- Film screenings and pub quizzes organised by the Students’ Union.
With the coronavirus pandemic restrictions lifting, we returned to in-person activities, however in keeping with the new need online events likewise took place. Activities this year included:
- Expert speakers from Slow Food, The Sustainable Restaurants Association, Fairtrade Foundation (tbc), Lea Greens and the university
- Stalls at all campuses providing more information about Fairtrade and Ethical Food at Greenwich
- Organic growing sessions in the Edible Garden at Avery Hill.
- Fairtrade tasting took place at our Graysons’ food outlets.
- During this two week period we also increased the discount to 50p on bringing a reusable cup, in addition to playing a 10p discount of all Fairtrade items.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic impacted heavily on Ethical Food & Fairtrade Fortnight 2021. However, that didn’t put a stop to the enthusiasm or discussion, the events just shifted to being virtual instead!
- Sophie Elliot, the Team’s Jobshop student wrote articles on Fairtrade and the impact our choices can have on the supply chain. A sample of those can be found here.
- Our GREen Pod podcast had a special feature with the Fairtrade Foundation.
- Our students and staff held an online discussion on veganism, vegetarian and their changing perceptions, with tips on how to begin that journey and how those eating meat can still be a part.
- External panel discussions on topics including palm oil, food packaging and food waste.
With a mixture of stalls and talks, Fortnight 2020 was a success in raising awareness on how significant our consumer choices are! Events included:
- Awareness stalls throughout campuses with sample products and what to look out for when buying in a shop/online.
- Sustainability and Spaceism Talk by Seb Alex.
- Fairtrade Oasis where students can come and discuss what it means to be Fairtrade and hear about the Fairtrade stories of farmers in Africa.
- Fairtrade virtual reality experience held in our libraries, wondering around a real-world farm to see the working conditions and how they can change. .
- Make Australia Green Again to raise money for charities to rebuild the wildlife destroyed by the fires. Led by volunteer student Jordyn Hilton, and taking place in local Greenwich pub, The Amersham Arms, with live music, the event was a huge success and raised £277.85 for the bushfire appeal.
- Vegan beauty workshop, giving an insight into all things beauty and how your choices can make a real difference.
2018 & 2019
Fortnight 2019 brought tasty Fairtrade treats to stalls around the campuses, with awareness around consumption, impact and how our consumer choices can positively impact farmers around the World. Other talks ranged from social and economic justice in trade to disposable packaging and plastics. The tagline for 2019 became ‘join in, be inspired and inspire others – together we can make our world a better place.’
Activities, stands, talks and the pilot of the Green Gown Finalist (food & Drink Category) and the The Reuse Race were all highlights of Fortnight 2018, held between 26th February and 9th March. Student volunteers Lenka Krikavova and Edoardo Federici led on all events and created the innovative Reuse Race. These other events included:
- Fairtrade Oasis where students went to discuss, play games and do activities (held at Medway).
- Movie Screening of the latest Fairtrade film.
- Blind tasting, comparing Fairtrade recipes to non-Fairtrade (Fairtrade won!).
- Cooking at Home, talk led by our caterers to simple meals to make at home.
- Stands, held at each campus to highlight positive change and the impact is has around the World.
- 25 events were held all together across the campuses.