Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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18 May 2005 PR 05/41

Loughborough becomes region’s first Fair Trade university

Loughborough has become Leicestershire’s first university to achieve Fair Trade status.

The internationally-recognised mark has been awarded to the University and the Students’ Union, to acknowledge their commitment to promoting Fair Trade around the campus.

To mark the achievement, a Fair Trade buffet will be held at the University on Monday 23 May, attended by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir David Wallace, Malcolm Brown and Janet Ireland from imago.

Fair Trade is a growing, international movement that ensures producers in poor countries get a fair deal. This means a fair price for their goods, that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living; long-term contracts which provide real security; and, for many, support to gain the knowledge and skills they need to develop their businesses and increase sales.

To receive Fair Trade status the University and Students’ Union have had to make Fair Trade products available for sale in all campus shops, and ensure they are used in all cafes and restaurants and are served at all meetings.

Jen Marsden from the Students’ Union and Rachel Smithson from imago, the University’s conferencing and hospitality section, were among the driving forces behind the move.

“The University and Union have large numbers of consumers, with thousands of cups of tea, coffee and chocolate drunk on a daily basis,” says Rachel.

“By building awareness among staff, students and visitors of the inequalities of trade, and the implications of their buying decisions, we can hopefully enable people to challenge the ways that trade works: every member of the University can make socially responsible choices,” Jen adds.

Loughborough is one of only a handful of universities across the country to have received Fair Trade status.

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Notes to editors

Members of the media are welcome to attend the buffet to mark the University’s accreditation as a Fair Trade University. It will take place at 4.30pm on Monday 23 May in the University Dining Suite, Edward Herbert Building. If you wish to attend, please contact Hannah Baldwin, in advance, on 01509 222239.

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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