UTM’s hospitality and retail services department is currently working to obtain fair trade certification as fair trade products are in the midst of being rolled out on campus.
Vicky Jezierski and Andrea De Vito, director and assistant director of the hospitality and retail services department, are currently working on UTM’s fair trade application to be submitted to Fairtrade Canada. The projected completion of the application and UTM’s designation as a fair trade campus is expected this September.
According to Fairtrade Canada, the fair trade practice is intended to “support small scale farmers and workers who are marginalized from trade in a variety of ways”. Besides seeking to empower small farmers and work organizations, the fair trade system emphasizes sustainability.
As of press time, certain on-campus products have been certified and produced according to fair trade standards, such as coffee, chocolate, and tea offered at the North Side Bistro in Deerfield Hall. The hospitality and retail services department is currently working with UTMSU to implement fair trade at the Blind Duck Pub and plans to include fair trade chocolate bars at the Duck Stop are underway.
After obtaining fair trade designation, the hospitality and retail services department hopes to implement fair trade standards to additional products available on campus.
Jezierski told The Medium that fair trade products offered at UTM will not be sold at an extra cost. Using Starbucks espresso as an example, Jezierski noted that the espresso remained at the same price even after the fair trade standards were implemented.
Aside from no added cost to fair trade products, De Vito noted that the purchase of fair trade products helps small-time farmers. In particular, Chartwells employs a local roaster from Southern Ontario. Jezierski also emphasized their intention to promote fair trade standards on campus.
“For us, it’s a process not just to get certification, but to get the campus together—like UTMSU and Chartwells… to create awareness for fair trade.”
Among other reforms to Chartwells’ operations, Chartwells is recycling 100 percent of fryer oil and offering discounts to students who use reusable beverage containers.