Fairtrade and Sustainability Formal

Thursday, 9 March, 2017 - 11:00
Fairtrade and Sustainability Formal, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

The annual Fairtrade and Sustainability Formal was held on Wednesday 8 March to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight (27 February – 12 March) and to increase awareness of Fairtrade and the benefits of ethical consumption.

The Formal also celebrated Fitzwilliam College receiving the renewal of its Fairtrade certification last year following its first accreditation in 2009. This year we were honoured to welcome Kevin McCullough, Head of Campaigns at Fairtrade Foundation, as our guest speaker.

The evening was set off with a successful wine tasting event in the bar put together by the College’s Bar and Cellar Supervisor, Chris Mason, which featured a range of Fairtrade wines. Information was provided on the background of each of the different types of wine, including where they were sourced from, and how Fairtrade had helped to improve livelihoods and economic stability for the local farmers in the area.

The formal took place in the Hall, made possible by the Catering team who put together a delicious menu of Fairtrade and locally sourced produce. The meal concluded with a speech from Kevin McCullough, which included a short and enthusiastically delivered quiz with prizes of Fairtrade chocolate and jellybeans.

He then went on to talk about the work Fairtrade Foundation does and how it benefits local communities, often speaking from personal experience about the lives of people he has met. It was a very thought provoking speech, making many student think about where their food comes from and the negative effect some products have on local people, encouraging them to engage more in purchasing Fairtrade goods.

Following the event, Charlotte Coventon, JCR Green Officer, said: "Overall, the evening was a success, and the JCR’s Ethical Affairs Committee are extremely thankful to everyone involved. We are excited to hold more Fairtrade Fortnight events again next year."

From left to right: Charlotte Coventon Geography 2015), JCR Green Officer; Ramnik Uppal (Medicine 2015), JCR Ethical Affairs Executive; Kevin McCullough, Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation (pictured holding Fitzwilliam’s Fairtrade certification); and Tim Hughes, Fellow Environmental Officer.