Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology

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farmer is picking arabica coffee berries by hand

UNHack Challenge 4

Proposed by Dr. John Simoulidis, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

How can we create an application that provides relevant information such as fair trade, health and ratings for food services on campus?

Challenge Summary:

A Fair Trade Campus Steering Committee at York is currently working towards joining 41 other campuses across Canada in being designated a Fair Trade Campus. The objective of this research project is to raise awareness of the aims, principles, and importance of the international Fair Trade movement for York community members in order to increase campus support for York’s Fair Trade initiative. 

The research team for this project will draw on their own expertise and the resources available through Fairtrade Canada to develop a Fair Trade Campus education and awareness campaign, with digital and visual arts components. The research team will develop a series of inclusive and accessible activities events that revolve around the Fair Trade Campus Week and brainstorm strategies that increase the visibility of Fair Trade products on campus and educate community members about various aspects of fair trade ranging from its impact on the lives of farmers to information about the Fair Trade certification process. Research has pointed to a number of obstacles Fair Trade is most commonly associated with coffee, but there are many other products that are now certified by Fairtrade Canada, like sugar, tea, bananas and cotton. 

What would it mean to students, staff and faculty to have York declared a Fairtrade Campus? How can we measure the impact this would have, both in terms of contributing to an alternative model of development for small producers in the global south and in terms of contributing to the promotion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals? How does this contribute to realizing the goals of York’s University Academic Plan? The research team for this project might include individuals with an interest or specialization in environmental studies, social work, social studies, economics, marketing, community engagement, urban studies, and design.

List of Helpful Resources:

Green Campus Cooperative was founded by students of York University who wanted to provide more sustainable cotton products on campus.