University of Derby Fairtrade Committee outcomes 2020-22

Leadership and strategy

Despite the pandemic, we have a Fairtrade Committee that includes University and Union reps, all Procurement and Retail Managers, Chaplains, academics, and students.

A “home” for the Fairtrade Committee within the University’s reporting structure, in the Environmental Sustainability Steering Group chaired by Chris Bussell.

Publicly expressed support for Fairtrade and the work of the Committee from the Union and University’s most senior staff with the newly signed Fairtrade Statement and the recognised Fairtrade Action Plan.

Campaigning and influencing

Online Fairtrade Fortnight events for 2021 included a successful bid to deliver a Multi-Faith Climate Change Action Forum at the Fairtrade Foundation’s first Choose the World You Want Festival during lockdown, and a video for the Youth Exhibition Hall at the same festival. Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 saw us return to in-person events held across all main University campuses (Derby, Buxton, Chesterfield, Leek) plus a Hall of Residence: Fairtrade pancakes; tasting and giveaways; giant banana Fairtrade hoop-la antics; Fairtrade lunches, an ethical mini-market and Fairtrade brownie making.

A better understanding of our Union’s strategic way of working only on campaigns where there is a demonstrable student mandate. This led to us prioritising Fairtrade promotion at Freshers’ Fair, with an invitation to students to get involved in specific ways. A BLC student led a campaign to rally student Fairtrade support through the Union’s Ideas Forum.

Buxton and Leek College welcomed a six-week all-college Fairtrade induction project in September 2021, and, as a result, we involved the Leek Fairtrade Town Committee for the first time.

Procurement, retail and catering

This is the area of work to have taken the greatest hit as a result of the Covid Pandemic, and the strong position we held two years ago in terms of Fairtrade products stocked throughout the University has been severely undermined. Nevertheless, all procurement partners remain committed to building up stocks as and when footfall and purchasing patterns allow. Blends, the Union’s flagship Fairtrade coffee bar continues to stock largely Fairtrade brands.

Through participation in the network of Fairtrade Universities, we have helped to identify and take part in a campaign tackling issues in the NUS’s own supply chain, which does not always facilitate the availability of a wide variety of Fairtrade products for Union procurement.

We have collected Fairtrade sales data so that we can monitor our return to a healthy level of Fairtrade sales across all outlets.

We have identified the University’s Model Tender Questions and Response Guidance, which gives Fairtrade as an example of how supply chains across the University can ensure ethical considerations.

Research and curriculum

We have conducted a new survey of HE staff, and a repeat survey of BLC students to inform our work.

We have promoted opportunities for students to research aspects of Fairtrade as part of their course work or dissertations, especially through Environmental Sciences, Culinary Arts, Law, Hospitality and Tourism.

A significant number of staff have taken part in the annual Global teach-ins, increasing the teaching related to the SDGs across the University.


Over the last two years, building on learning from previous years, we aimed at more impactful work:

Our new year of work will focus on how we can be even more committed to Fairtrade and how we can get more students involved: