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University of Turku Continues as Fairtrade Higher Education Institution

News | 6.10.2020
The Fairtrade association has given the University of Turku permission to continue to use the Fairtrade higher education institution title. The University applied and was made a member of the network in autumn 2018. The title has to be earned annually by showing that the activities are developed continuously. The report for the academic year 2019–2020 showed that progress had been made.

​When accepted as a member of the Fairtrade network, the University of Turku had to fulfill certain prerequisites, according to which approximately half of the faculties and the Student Union had to commit to using Fairtrade coffee and tea.

When joining the network, the University issued a policy that Fairtrade coffee and tea are served in all University events and that all the campus restaurants offer Fairtrade coffee and tea. In the last academic year, the restaurants also added other Fairtrade products to their selections. The Student Union and several of its organisations were already following the requirements when the University joined the network. In the last academic year, this group grew significantly.

The Fairtrade system has been created to improve the position of farmers in developing countries in international trade. The Fairtrade coffee producers always get at least the Fairtrade guarantee price for their products, which covers the costs of sustainable production. In addition, the farmers get a Fairtrade Premium which is an extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price that farmers or workers invest in projects of their choice. Fairtrade imposes strict environmental criteria for farming and forbids forced labour and use of child labour.