Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Fair trade

We have participated in the Fairtrade University scheme since 2004, making commitments to fair trade procurement, awareness-raising and research. The University is now working towards its next award.

fairtrade award

Most recently, the University took part in a 2017/18 pilot of a new Fairtrade University and Colleges Award, led by the Fairtrade Foundation and National Union of Students.

We received a "two-star Fairtrade University Award" in recognition of our continued promotion of fair trade products and principles. This award was valid through May 2020 and we are now preparing to submit for reaccreditation in Spring 2021. The University continues to maintain its longstanding commitment to fair trade and expand its approach to ethical supply chains.

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.

Tony's Chocolonely

Tony's mission: 100% slave-free chocolate
Tony's Chocolonely is a brand of chocolate who are working to make 100% slave-free the norm.

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 almost 2.9 million cups of Fairtrade coffee, 613,384 cups of Fairtrade hot chocolate and 671,361 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.