McGill’s downtown campus earns Fair Trade Campus Certification Silver status

Downtown campus is first campus in Quebec and second in Canada to receive this designation
Fair Trade is designed to help producers in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships and avoid being taken advantage of by large corporations that purchase goods to sell in other countries

McGill’s downtown campus has achieved Silver designation in the Fair Trade Campus Certification, making it the first campus in Quebec and the second in Canada to receive this designation. “This achievement is a testament to our ongoing commitment to fairtrade principles and practices,” says Zach Suhl, Associate Director of Food and Dining Services at McGill Student Housing and Hospitality Services.

Since first receiving Fair Trade certification in 2013, McGill has been deeply engaged with the fairtrade movement. In 2017, the University received the prestigious 2016 Fair Trade Campus of the Year Award.

Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, McGill Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) remained steadfast in its mission to advance fairtrade initiatives on campus.

“Through extensive campus-wide collaboration and dedication, we have successfully attained silver designation in the Fair Trade Campus Certification,” says Suhl. “This accomplishment reflects the collective efforts of our university community and underscores our commitment to promoting social justice and sustainability.”

McGill’s Macdonald Campus currently holds its own Fair Trade certification. Efforts are underway to merge applications and include it in the Silver designation.

Intensified engagement 

This milestone signifies a strengthened bond with fairtrade principles, characterized by increased availability of fairtrade products on campus and intensified engagement in fairtrade promotion efforts. Throughout this year, the University orchestrated a series of events in honor of Fairtrade Month, which takes place annually in October. Activities included informative tabling sessions at dining halls and engaging games featuring fairtrade trivia. Moreover, McGill hosted a Halloween celebration featuring a delectable dessert made with fairtrade cocoa, sugar, bananas, and chocolate.

The Fair Trade Campus Certification will be officially awarded on April 4 from 12 to 2 p.m. in an event at Redpath Café. Fairtrade refreshments will be served.

During this celebratory event, sustainability educators from SHHS will be hosting a tabling session. “This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about fairtrade practices and engage with our sustainability initiatives,” says Göktuğ Bender, Sustainability Coordinator at SHHS.

“We look forward to celebrating this achievement with the McGill community and reaffirming our commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability.”

Visit to learn more about Fair Trade campuses.

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