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Carroll Awarded 'Fair Trade College' Status

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Designation is 31st in the Nation, 1st in Montana

HELENA - Carroll College is proud to announce its official designation as a Fair Trade College. Fair Trade is an economic system that ensures consumers that the products they buy were grown, harvested, crafted and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. As a Fair Trade College, Carroll is committed to educating students about the issues of fair trade and sourcing fair trade products in campus outlets, such as the dining hall and bookstore. Carroll College is the first Fair Trade College in Montana.

Carroll has been working towards fair trade certification for the past three years. To become formally recognized, Carroll organizers had to complete five steps demonstrating a commitment to applying fair trade principles and practices at the college. One integral component of certification is having fair trade products available in campus outlets. Some of the fair trade products offered at Carroll include coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, ice cream, cards, and jewelry.

Carroll senior, Melanie Vert, has been instrumental in helping establish the college’s fair trade designation. “For me, becoming a Fair Trade College means closer ties with the Helena community and the fair trade movement as a whole,” said Vert. “By working towards this certification, we have already become more connected with businesses and churches who promote fair trade in Helena. We have also become involved with a network of fair trade advocates across the country and globe. I am excited for these relationships to grow further now that we've received this declaration.”

In addition to providing fair trade products, Carroll sponsors "Fair Trade Fridays" on campus, hosts fair trade markets for Helena vendors, and sells fair trade chocolates during the holidays. A number of Carroll faculty also teach about fair trade in their classes in an effort to engage students in issues of global poverty and environmental concerns. The final step towards designation was drafting a fair trade resolution which reflects Carroll College’s commitment to fair trade, which was signed by both Carroll President Tom Evans and the Faculty Assembly.

“We are proud to be the first fair trade institution of higher learning in Montana. We see this designation as a manifestation of Carroll College’s mission to serve the poor and marginalized as well as its work with Catholic Relief Services,” said Dr. Chris Fuller, Director of the Hunthausen Center for Peace and Justice at Carroll College.

Carroll College students, faculty, and staff will celebrate their new fair trade status with a Fair Trade Friday event in the Campus Center on February 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include fair trade information, chocolate samples, and a raffle for a fair trade bag, coffee, and tea.

Learn more about fair trade at Carroll.

About Fair Trade Campaigns

Fair Trade Campaigns is a grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of Fair Trade advocates on campuses and communities across the USA. Fair Trade Campaigns recognize towns, colleges, universities, schools and congregations in the US for embedding Fair Trade purchasing practices and principles into policy, as well as the social foundations of their communities. Project collaborators include Fair Trade USA, Fair for Life, and Fair Trade International – USA, third-party certifiers of Fair Trade products in the United States, the Fair Trade Federation, a North American trade association of organizations fully committed to Fair Trade.  Visit www.FairTradeCampaigns.org for more information