Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Fair trade

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

Fairtrade University Award

Our Fairtrade University status is awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation in recognition of our continued promotion of fair trade products and principles. In 2017/18 we took part in a pilot of a new Fairtrade University scheme, led by the Fairtrade Foundation and National Union of Students, receiving a "two-star Fairtrade University Award".

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.  

Students: get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight

What the University is doing

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

Supporting the International Fair Trade Charter

We recognise and support the International Fair Trade Charter launched in September 2018 by the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fairtrade International. Supporters of the charter share a vision of a world in which everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full human potential.

Find out more about the International Fair Trade Charter

Fair trade in action

Our commitment to fair trade 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.


Find out more about the University's fair trade products and initiatives below.

Fairtrade bananas and apple juice

Fairtrade Fortnight 6 word story for fruit - '‘Cheap bananas: who pays the price?’'
All bananas at the University are Fairtrade from Panama

Hot beverages

Fairtrade Fortnight 6 word story for beverages - 'Your morning cuppa: infused with fairness'
Last year, we served 2.6 million cups of Fairtrade coffee, 742,792 cups of Fairtrade hot chocolate and 703,735 cups of Fairtrade tea


Fairtrade Fortnight 6 word story for electronics - 'offer: long hours, no pay, permanent'
The University became a founding member of Electronics Watch in 2014, an EU-wide initiative which supports public buyers in calling for fair working conditions in electronics manufacturing

Rice from Malawi

Fairtrade Fortnight 6 word story for rice - ‘Fairly priced rice: school fees paid’
All rice served at the University is sourced from smallholder farmers in Malawi through Just Trading Scotland, a Scottish fair trade distributor.

Fairtrade Fortnight

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