Sunderland College is celebrating ten years of Fairtrade status which was marked with a lively debate in which students participated as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.
The college, which was the first in the UK to gain the Fairtrade status and is now one of a 160 colleges and universities in the UK committed to making campuses more ethical. Colleges and Universities also make Fairtrade products available on site and raise awareness of the benefits that Fairtrade brings to producers in developing countries.
The college arranged a number of events in order to celebrate Fairtrade fortnight including a debate and a bake off.
The live debate, which was held at Sunderland City Council’s civic centre building gave students the opportunity to attempt to answer the question ‘is Fairtrade relevant in today’s economic climate?’ in front of a whole host of VIPs, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland.
“It is gratifying that many of the city’s students take such an interest in issues that affect the global economy. The debate demonstrated just how aware students are of the issue of poverty and how Fairtrade can help to alleviate it.
“My congratulations go to Sunderland College in continuing to maintain their Fairtrade status,” comments Mayor Councillor Bob Heron.
Laura Mitford, enrichment officer at Sunderland College said: “It was great to see so many students taking part in the celebrations. The students really got involved in all of the activities, the debate became very active – it was great to see everyone so engaged in such a thought provoking topic.
“We are all very proud that the college was the first in the country to gain Fairtrade status, which we have retained for ten years now.”
Student Sally Martin, said: “I really enjoyed the debate, it was great to get so involved and talk about such an important issue that is so significant in today’s economic climate.”