Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter has been designated a “Fair Trade College” by Fair Trade Campaigns.
Gustavus is the first college or university in Minnesota to get the designation; there are 30 others in the country, including Pomona College, Creighton University, and Villanova University.
Officials say the college now “will strive to use responsibly sourced products and make them available in its dining facilities, book store, and to offices and departments across campus. The College will also support students, faculty, and staff as they work to create educational programs and increase awareness of fair trade.”
A team of students, faculty and staff spent two years working to meet the requirements for the certification, Steve Kjellgren, Director of Dining Service and the Book Mark campus book store, said: “We’ve been exclusively purchasing fair trade coffee, tea, and bananas along with some chocolate and textile. As a Fair Trade College, there will be a higher vigilance for our campus purchasing, which is an incredibly helpful tool for those of us in the business of purchasing and providing for Gustavus.”
And college Chaplain Brian Konkol noted the importance of the designation: “Every college is a community of consumers, which means as a church-related college we are particularly challenged to consume not merely in response to our desires, but as an expression of our values.”