Staff news

Ethical catering challenge met

The University is once again supporting farmers in Malawi by taking part in a UK-wide ethical catering initiative.

During the recent Fairtrade Fortnight, the University committed to purchase and sell 90 kilograms of Malawian rice, as part of Just Trading Scotland’s 90kg Rice Challenge.

Just Trading Scotland, a Fairtrade organisation that imports and distributes fairly traded products to the UK, estimates that purchasing 90kg of rice allows a Malawian farmer to pay for a child’s basic secondary education for one year.

Target exceeded

The University first committed to the 90kg Rice Challenge in 2010.

Coordinated this year by the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, the challenge saw the target met and exceeded, with 120kg of rice purchased for use on campus.

The rice is being used in dishes at EUSA catering outlets and at the student-led Hearty Squirrel Food Cooperative, which is located in the basement of the George Square Lecture Theatre.

Stocks were also donated to Resident Assistants in self-catered student accommodation for distribution to residents, and to FoodSharing Edinburgh, an initiative that redistributes excess food to prevent wastage.


Following a 2011 trade agreement with Just Trading Scotland, the University sources all of its rice from Fairtrade sources in Malawi.

All Accommodation Services outlets and Edinburgh First catering are committed to using Malawian rice.

Related Links

Be sustainable: fair trade

Just Trading Scotland 90kg Rice Challenge

FoodSharing Edinburgh