A new deal will see the University receive all of its rice from Fairtrade sources in Malawi.
The agreement with importer Just Trading Scotland ensures that rice consumed at the University comes from sustainable sources in the East African country.
In addition, the initiative will raise funds for the education of Malawian students. The income raised from the rice sales will enable some 56 children to attend schools in Malawi.
The University’s catering department plans to develop the initiative by adding Malawi-sourced Toor dahl lentils to its menus.
It aims to buy enough produce from Malawi to provide more than 100 children with the opportunity for a structured education and a better quality of life.
The key business of any University is education, and this is a great opportunity for us to support education in another country through our catering services. It’s a logical partnership that helps us make a difference in Malawi.
Assistant Director, Catering
The University has a long-term commitment to the use of Fairtrade products and is proud to be Scotland’s first Fairtrade University.
Every tea or coffee served in the University or students’ union is Fairtrade certified. This helps many third-world farmers. Fairtrade chocolate, drinks and clothing are available in University and Union outlets.
The University, Students’ Association and campaign groups continue to co-operate to achieve Fairtrade City status for Edinburgh, and celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.
The aim of Fairtrade is to secure better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
It also offers an opportunity to invest in facilities - such as schools and healthcare, to benefit the community.
The Fairtrade Foundation, with its partners, maintains these standards by regularly inspecting third world suppliers and checking contracts and trade terms.
This article was published on May 6, 2011