Fair Trade Fair today in Central Square

Shoppers at the 2014 Fair Trade Fair at York University
Shoppers at the 2014 Fair Trade Fair at York University
Shoppers at the 2014 Fair Trade Fair at York University

York University’s annual Fair Trade Fair will take place this Wednesday, Jan. 21 between 10am and 4pm in the East Bear Pit in Central Square.

The fair will feature a range of fair trade products including arts and crafts, clothing, coffee and chocolate. In addition to fair trade products, the event also serves as a forum for students, faculty and staff to learn more about fair trade and fair trade initiatives at York and beyond.

What is fair trade?

Simply put, fair trade is about ensuring that producers, typically from developing countries, receive a fair price for their products. But Fair Trade is also about information. Fair Trade Canada describes it as a “way for all of us to identify products that meet our values so we can make choices that have a positive impact on the world.”

In recent years, York has developed a number of fair trade initiatives. For instance, York has its own brand of fair trade certified coffee, Las Nubes, which is grown in the Las Nubes rainforest in Costa Rica (of which York is a part owner). Las Nubes coffee is available at the York Bookstore and all Food Services outlets. Also, in 2011 York became the first university in Canada to sell certified, fair trade clothing in its campus bookstore. The President’s Sustainability Council has also been recently assessing the potential for York to become a Fair Trade Campus, through Fair Trade Canada and the Canadian Fair Trade Network.

To learn more about fair trade at York and other sustainability initiatives, visit the Sustainability website or e-mail sustainability@yorku.ca.