Humber North is now a Fair Trade campus

by | Feb 16, 2019 | Headlines, News, North

Daryna Sarhan, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Humber College’s North campus officially became a Fair Trade site on Feb. 7, 2019. 

Fair Trade helps achieve better trading conditions for workers in developing countries. The college is working towards becoming a more sustainable campus, in part by adopting new sustainable products and services. 

Farheen Kadwa, a sustainability research assistant at Humber College, is one of the people who helped North campus get its Fair Trade certification. The organization got the Fair Trade designation for Lakeshore campus last year.  

“Although some people may not know about Fair Trade or may not be fully supportive because they don’t know what it is, as an organization we’re able to say, ‘look, we want this done, can you guys help us out,’ and most of them say we’re on board and supportive,” Kadwa said.

Introducing Fair Trade to the North campus was easier since Fair Trade coffee and related products are readily available.  

The president of Humber college Chris Whitaker giving a speech on Fair Trade at the LRC building in North campus. Feb. 7, 2019. (Daryna Sarhan)

The North campus now offers Fair Trade tea, coffee, and chocolate along with other products. Reaching this designation is an achievement and more positive changes can follow, Kadwa said.

“It’s actually the beginning of making more changes and becoming a more sustainable campus. It is a continuous mission, supporting social and environmental sustainability, there’s no end to it,” she said. 

Angella Nunes,  one of the attendees at the announcement, said she supports Fair Trade because it brings awareness. 

“I’m sure they’re moving in the right direction with this,” Nunes said. “I do support Fair Trade, I think it’s important that people and producers are valued because at the end of the day it impacts all of us.

Promotional Fair Trade items laid out on a table in the LRC building of Humber’s North Campus. Jan. 7, 2019 (Daryna Sarhan)

Chris Whitaker, the president of Humber College, is a major supporter of the Fair Trade recognition. 

In the global economy today, products are purchased from around the world, but not every country treats its workers the same way when it comes to equitable arrangements when purchasing, he said. 

“I think what Fair Trade causes us to pause as individuals and give some thought to where things come from and how are they produced,” Whitaker said.

“What is the supply chain, how were things bought and sold, because by making a transaction we are having an impact on the people that actually produce the product,” he said.

Fair Trade promotes the fair treatment of workers and farmers in other countries that historically may have been taken advantage of by large companies. The goal is to treat people responsibly, educate consumers on ethical behaviour and the decision-making process when purchasing products and services. 

“It’s really an understanding that we’re all contributing to this and we need to value everybody’s contribution along the way,” Whitaker said.

“We want Humber to be Fair Trade everywhere,” he said.