Cabrini College became formally recognized as a Fair Trade College on Thursday, Jan. 16. Billy Linstead Goldsmith, the national coordinator of Fair Trade Campaigns, presented the Declaration of Fair Trade to Interim President Deb Takes that Thursday afternoon in the Woodcrest Mansion.
“On behalf of Cabrini, I’d like to thank the faculty, staff, students and alumni who worked so hard to earn this tremendous distinction,” Takes said.
Cabrini College achieved Fair Trade status in November 2013. Cabrini is one of only 17 universities and colleges nationwide to achieve Fair Trade status.
Fair Trade is exactly how it sounds: fair. Farmers and producers of tradable and sellable goods are fairly compensated for their work. They are paid a livable wage, work fair hours and the working conditions are up to par.
As a Fair Trade College, Cabrini is committing to bring more Fair Trade products to campus whenever possible. The commitment also extends to continuing to build awareness of Fair Trade across campus between students and faculty.
Fair Trade products are already offered on campus. With the help of Drew Neiman, Sodexo’s general manager of dining services, and Chef Rodney, Sodexo cooks with Fair Trade products such as olive oil, quinoa, rice and sugar. Fair Trade products are available throughout campus as well; Fair Trade honey, bananas, sugar, coffee, etc.
Cabrini will also hold more events and activities to raise awareness around campus of Fair Trade. In the past year alone, Cabrini has held student versus staff Wallyball tournaments, Fair Trade gatherings and last spring, a Fair Trade Club was officially formed on campus.
Adriana Rizzuto, senior, is the current student president of the Fair Trade Club.
“I am so grateful for my experience and involvement towards making [Cabrini] a Fair Trade College,” Rizzuto said. “With the groundwork laid down by alumni and finally putting together a club, Fair Trade status was just the final step.”
The process to become a Fair Trade College got its footing in 2006 when, then student, Meghan Hurley worked with Sodexo to get Fair Trade coffee brought onto campus.
Hurley and Zawrotny pushed to make students and staff more aware of Fair Trade and the benefits of buying such products and becoming a Fair Trade College.
“Without [Hurley and Zawrotny’s] help, Cabrini wouldn’t be a Fair Trade College,” Rizzuto said. “It has taken countless man hours of petitioning and educating the college in order to get where we are today. Not to mention all the hard work put into actually implementing products on campus and teaching in the ECG classes.”
Last spring, Cabrini hosted a Fair Trade gathering of 10 local colleges and universities in transition of earning Fair Trade status. With Saint Joseph’s University, Cabrini received a Fair Trade grant from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), along with two back-to-back grants from Fair Trade Colleges and Universities to build campus-wide awareness for the Fair Trade movement.
“Earning status as a Fair Trade College is just one more example–and a significant one–of how an Education of the Heart can be realized in every corner of life at Cabrini,” Takes said.