Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Fair trade

We have been a Fairtrade University since 2004, making commitments to fair trade procurement, awareness-raising, and research.

Our Fairtrade University status is awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation in recognition of our continued promotion of fair trade products and principles.

Fair trade is about improving livelihoods for producers through them receiving higher prices for their goods, and through providing additional benefits such as a Fairtrade Premium, training programmes, long-term contracts, and pre-financing. Well-known approaches to fair trade include the Fairtrade mark, and the World Fair Trade Organisation.  

What you can do


Choose to buy fair trade products, and encourage others to do so.

This is the most direct way that you can make a difference.

Get involved in fair trade groups.

There are lots of organisations you can get involved in, including:

What the University is doing

The University is committed to continued promotion and understanding of fair trade.

This means that whenever possible we will buy products that are produced fairly and ethically and support on-going academic research and development in this area.

  • University and Edinburgh University Students' Association catering outlets and shops continue to expand their stock of fair trade products, including many Fairtrade labelled products, and others such as Malawian rice from Just Trading Scotland
  • We raise awareness of fair trade issues during Fairtrade Fortnight each year
  • Fair trade is a standing item at Social Responsibility and Sustainability Committee meetings.


Fairness in Trade and Sustainable Procurement programme

We collaborate with the Procurement Office to call for responsible practices among our suppliers, through our Fairness in Trade and Sustainable Procurement programme. This includes affiliation to and participation in the development of various codes and standards, and developing our own policy commitments for example related to conflict minerals and modern slavery.

Fairness in Trade and Sustainable Procurement



fair trade
Our Fair Trade Policy was endorsed by Court in June 2013. Having a Fair Trade Policy is one of the Fairtrade Foundation's criteria for Fairtrade University status.

Fairtrade Fortnight

The University is committed to promoting fair trade wherever possible, and works actively to combat human rights abuses in supply chains.