Guilt-free shopping can be enjoyed in the city when the University of Birmingham's new ethical business venture launches on 4 March, in the heart of Fairtrade Fortnight (25 Feb - 9 March).

As the two weeks begin, Birmingham will celebrate its commitment to Fairtrade with a range of guild and university activities and the launch of a new shop at the Edgbaston campus chaplaincy in St. Francis Hall.

The Traidcaft Fairtrade shop – which launches at 12.30pm on March 4 - will open between 12-2pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays (term time only) and will sell a range of goods from tea and coffee to gifts and cards.

In addition to the opening of the shop, the university is involved in a range of other events during Fairtrade Fortnight, including wine tasting and Traidcraft stalls, featuring jewellery and children's clothing.

Geoff Pringle, Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services at the university, said: "We're committed to ethical trade and have made great strides to ensure we support this by providing a variety of Fairtrade products – and we're adding to this all the time."

Since achieving Fairtrade Status in 2003, the university has supported ethical business practice, from initially stocking Fairtrade tea and coffee in all its catering outlets, to the current range of confectionery items, orange juice and muffins. All bananas sold in the catering outlets are now Fairtrade. Café Aroma in the university's Staff House is the university's first outlet selling only Fairtrade coffee.

Mr Pringle added: "During Fairtrade Fortnight people will have the opportunity to taste the range of products for themselves. We hope this will encourage them to buy Fairtrade when they can."


Media information: Anna Dingley, University of Birmingham Press Officer, 0121 415 8134/07769 952763, email

Fairtrade Fortnight 2008: University and Guild activities

Monday 25th February, 5.30pm: Café Aroma, Staff House – Presentation by Mike Ramirez of Arco on the Ethical Trading Initiative

Tuesday 26th February, 12.00 – 2.00pm: Café Aroma – Traidcraft and LUCIA stalls

Wednesday 27th February, 6.30pm: Café Aroma – Fairtrade Wine Tasting

Thursday 28th February – Fairtrade themed evening at the Hub, Shackleton (student accommodation) including FT food, films and Traidcraft stall

Tuesday 4th March, 12.30 – 2.30pm: Chaplaincy (St Francis Hall), opening of new Fairtrade shop including Fairtrade drinks and food (tbc)

Wednesday 5th March: Band Night, Bristol Pear, Selly Oak


In 2003, Birmingham made the decision to promote social responsibility and demonstrate a commitment to the principles of Fairtrade by selling a selection of Fairtrade products within our university shops:

Fairtrade foods are available for sale in all campus shops

They are used in all cafes, restaurants and bars on campus

Fairtrade products are served at all meetings hosted by the University and the Guild – and in all University and Guild management offices

For every 18 litre bottle of water we buy from AquaAid – a water cooler supplier recommended as a Fairtrade supplier by People and Planet – a contribution of 30p goes to Christian Aid and 10p to Pump Aid. This money helps to provide wells for some of the billion plus people who have no access to fresh water.

1,100 kilograms of Fairtrade coffee beans bought in 2006