Aussie universities gain Fairtrade certification



An Ethiopian coffee ceremony was one of many fair trade displays at the ceremony to celebrate RMIT University's newly endorsed status as a Fairtrade Certified university.

Credit: RMIT University

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Victoria’s RMIT University and New South Wales’ Macquarie University have become the country’s first fair trade-certified universities.

The Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ) awarded the certification during the annual Fair Trad Fortnight event, which ends May 17.

FTAANZ Operations Manager Cameron Neil said that with more than 300 fair trade communities in Australia, FTAANZ was very excited to have the first two fair trade Universities gain certification.

"The awarding of this joint title to both Universities reflects the growing awareness and understanding in the Australian community about the life-changing difference choosing fair trade makes," he said.

"Whether it’s the tearoom supplies you use at your workplace or the coffee sold on campus, each fair trade community helps make a big difference to the lives of developing country producers, their families and communities."

To gain the certification the universities implemented fair trade procurement, adopted resolutions in support of fair trade, and made Fairtrade Certified products available across their campuses.

"The challenge has now been set for other higher education institutions to follow RMIT and Macquarie’s lead and help make a significant contribution to improving awareness and education about fair trade and the issues it seeks to address," he said.