Assumption College Announces Commitment to Fair Trade

Assumption College is one of only 13 schools in the United States – and the only one in Massachusetts – to be approved as a Fair Trade University by the Fair Trade Colleges and Universities Campaign. Achieving Fair Trade-certified status means that Assumption has committed to embed Fair Trade principles and practices within its administrative and purchasing policies and the academic community’s social and intellectual fabric.

“By becoming a certified Fair Trade College, Assumption College is helping the effort to transform the lives of millions of farmers, artisans, farm workers and their families through fair prices and fair wages, direct trade, access to credit, support for democratic organizations, protections for workers and the environment, and investments in community development,” said Assumption Campus Minister Vincent Sullivan-Jacques, who advises the College’s Social Justice Committee.

To celebrate Assumption’s national recognition, Social Justice Committee members held a ceremony Feb. 12 in Testa Science Center’s atrium. The event featured speeches from campus community members, and a sampling of Fair Trade products. Fair Trade-certified chocolate was sold in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

The Fair Trade Colleges and Universities Campaign’s goal is to increase the impact colleges and universities can make by ensuring that Fair Trade products are sold and served at campus-owned and operated outlets. Thousands of Fair Trade products are available to consumers, including coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing, bags, sports balls, and handicrafts.

Sodexo, the company that manages dining and catering services at Assumption, has partnered with the College in support of the Fair Trade certification.

“In alignment with Sodexo’s ‘Better Tomorrow Plan,’ we already source and offer our signature brand, Aspretto, certified fair-trade coffee and sugar,” said Michael Ward, Sodexo’s director of food services at Assumption College. “In addition, Assumption and Sodexo continue to work together on sustainable initiatives such as composting and recycling in Taylor Dining Hall, which will reduce 90 tons of waste from landfills; to use compostable paper, as well as to strengthen our local purchasing efforts.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews