Press Releases 2017

UWTSD hosts Fairtrade debate

10.03.2017

As part of the Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) a special Fairtrade debate was held at the university this week.

Fairtrade

Elen Jones from Fairtrade Wales was joined on the panel by Martha Musonza Holman from Love Zimbabwe and Dyborn Chibonga Chief Executive of the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) to give an insight in to their work on Fairtrade and join a wider discussion around the topic.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) recently retained its status as a Fairtrade University by making a strong commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade produce across its campuses.  This commitment is part of the University’s overall dedication to sustainability, including its pledge to supporting local producers.  In order to receive this important accolade, universities have to ensure that as many Fairtrade products as possible, including food, drink and clothing, are available in as many places as possible in and around their campuses.

Jenny Lloyd Green Engagement Officer at UWTSD said:  

“It was a pleasure to welcome Elen Jones, Martha Musonza Holman and Dyborn Chibonga to the university and I’d like to thank them for their excellent contributions during our Fairtrade Fortnight debate today.  A wide range of issues and themes were discussed during the debate including consumer consciousness, climate change, local farmers and Brexit.  It really was a fascinating debate led by experts in the field.  

UWTSD is a Fairtrade university of course and we’ve made a strong commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade produce at the university.  Increasing the use and sales of Fairtrade products among students, staff and visitors can have a huge impact for producers and their communities.  Increased usage also raises the awareness of Fairtrade and the benefits that it brings to workers and farmers in developing countries."

Dr Jane Davidson, Pro Vice Chancellor for External Engagement and Director of INSPIRE (Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) said:

“We’re proud of the fact that UWTSD is a Fairtrade University and it was a pleasure for us to host this debate during Fairtrade fortnight,”

“Sustainable development is about making better decisions using long term values; it’s about thinking about the impacts of today’s actions on future generations and learning to live within our environmental limits. It’s also about balancing social, environmental, economic and cultural needs in a way that does not compromise future generations.  Fairtrade is a great example of this and we, as a University, are pleased that we can help promote and encourage the use of Fairtrade produce.

“This is something UWTSD takes very seriously and through work carried out via our Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE), we aim to place sustainability at the centre of its delivery for its curriculum, campuses, communities and culture.” 

One of the panellists was Dyborn Chibonga who is the Chief Executive of the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM).  NASFAM seeks to improve the lives of smallholder farmers by developing the commercial capacity of its members and delivering programs to enhance their productivity.  NASFAM also promotes farming as a business, producing economic and social benefits for its members, their communities and the country.

Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of the National Association of Smallholder Farmers of Malawi (NASFAM) said:

“It was fantastic to speak with informed consumers about the risks that are facing smallholder farmers in Malawi. Climate change poses a great threat to the sustainability of agriculture across the world, and choosing Fairtrade is a means of ensuring that the production of the foods that we eat is not worsening the situation.”

Elen Jones, National Coordinator at Fair Trade Wales added:

“In 2017, it is a scandal that the people who grow the food we take for granted aren’t paid enough to provide for their own families. Current changes pose further uncertainties, and we as consumers must realise the power of our voices in asking for a fair deal for farmers – in Wales and across the world.”

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk