Buxton & Leek College wins new Fairtrade award

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Buxton & Leek College has been awarded the new Fairtrade University and College Award, following a student-led audit.

The college is one of twelve institutions to have been accredited this year under the new standards of the revised award in conjunction with the Fairtrade Foundation and National Union of Students.

The award comes following a pilot cohort of universities and colleges to develop the new standards.

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The new award structure encourages partnership between sustainability, catering and academic staff in the institution plus the students’ union and students to cover procurement, awareness raising and campaigning activities.

Students taking part in a Fairtrade event at the collegeStudents taking part in a Fairtrade event at the college
Students taking part in a Fairtrade event at the college

There are also opportunities to engage through teaching and the flexibility to receive points for trying out new and innovative ways to engage.

In order to confirm the achievements of the college, students were recruited as volunteer auditors, and trained by NUS and the Fairtrade Foundation, equipping them with transferrable skills and experience in conducting an audit.

Joanna Milis, education campaigns manager from the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Research conducted by our partners NUS tells us that 90 per cent of students say they want to buy more products that don’t harm the people that produce them and 84 per cent say they trust the Fairtrade mark the most.

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"There is a huge appetite amongst students to understand the impact the products they buy are having on the people and the planet along the supply chain, and to buy ethically-sourced products.

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"It is so important to enable students to have access to information about this at a time when there are forming their values and habits for life.

"Working in partnership with NUS has allowed us to develop a robust but achievable set of standards for the revised award.”

Ingrid Keith, chaplaincy co-ordinator at the college, said: “We’re really proud to receive this award, which demonstrates the commitment our staff and students have made towards ethical and sustainable decisions during their time at college.

"We’ll continue to champion Fairtrade as an organisation and embed this movement for change into our student, staff and community activities.”