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 came 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 purchases.
Did you know that the University has been Fairtrade Accredited since 2012?
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!
Held between the 22 February – 5 March, 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, Business & Finance, gave her thoughts on what Fairtrade meant to her.
- Palm Oil: An ingredient with impact, Speakers Alexandra Zlatareva (a UoG Film & TV grad), Mike Hanson (Head of Sustainable Business at our caterers BaxterStorey), Dr Conor Walsh (NRI) and Dr Truly Santika (NRI) discussed palm oil, its impacts and solutions.
- Packaging & Food Waste: Dr Lori Fisher discussed the role of packaging in reducing impact of food provision and Dr Parag Acharya showcased hidden food waste and how innovation is delivering a circular food economy.
- Let’s Talk Vegan: A discussion with students and staff around the benefits, challenges and stigma associated with a higher non-meat diet.
- Fairtrade: Starbucks and the university: Starbucks, BaxterStorey (UoG’s caterers) and Prof Jeremy Haggar from the NRI explored the impacts and opportunities of this global certification.
- Greenwich Cookbook: A cookbook made by students, for students is being made (updates will follow) over a balanced meal, the carbon footprint and essential tips and tricks.
With a mixture of stalls and talks, Fortnight 2020 was a success in raising awareness on how significant our consumer choices are! February 24th – 8th March, and led by students, the University hosted:
- 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.
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) 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.
Ethical Food & Fairtrade Fortnight has been at the University since 2011! From baking, blind tasting, wine & cheese tasting, pub quizzes, film screenings, pledges and talks, it has all been seen throughout the years. We are always looking for new ways to engage and encourage positive, what will you see when you next attend? Remember to check out your portal, social media and our main website to keep track of the week and all our events!