“Latin American Universities in Favor of Fair Trade” campaign

More and more universities are becoming interested in the fair trade campaign. Two countries have officially become part of the campaign this year: Ecuador, with the Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial (UTE), which is already complying with four criteria, and it is hoped that it will soon be able to comply with the institution’s purchase of products from small fair trade producers; and Mexico, with the Universidad Politécnica de Huatusco, which has a very close relationship with the Producers’ Network in the Central Zone of Veracruz state – COORPROVER, and is already in compliance with all the criteria, including internal purchasing, buying coffee directly from the Mexican Network.

The Ecuadoran Network is also developing a closer relationship with the Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo and the Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo. And in Caranavi (Bolivia), a relationship is being developed with the Instituto Tecnológico de Caranavi and the Universidad Pública de El Alto. In Costa Rica, the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) is becoming interested, and with assistance from the European Union delegation in Costa Rica, a Latin America-European Fair Trade Conference was held at the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), in San José.

This campaign works to gradually reach societies in the region’s countries, with the aim of building fair trade relationships and responsible consumerism in the region.

Do you have contacts and good relationships with national universities?

Do you think that any of these universities might support your organization or your national network in terms of research, outreach and education work?

If you do, we invite you to learn more about the Latin American Universities in Favor of Fair Trade “Universidades Latinoamericanas por el Comercio Justo” campaign!

At CLAC, we would like to see producers’ organizations becoming actively involved in this local process of impact and awareness-raising. Professors, researchers and students can be very important allies for the solidarity and fair trade movement.



Las universidades como un aliado clave del movimiento por un comercio justo y solidario

¿Usted tiene buenas relaciones con alguna universidad, profesor o investigador académico? ¿Ha pensado alguna vez que la universidad debería convertirse en un aliado clave del movimiento por un comercio justo y solidario?

Si es así le invitamos a conocer más sobre la campaña “Universidades Latinoamericanas por el Comercio Justo”, una campaña de sensibilización e incidencia en torno a la importancia de establecer vínculos de comercio justo y consumo responsable en nuestras sociedades latinoamericanas y caribeñas. ¡Por un comercio justo también en nuestros países!

Su principal objetivo es visibilizar todas las acciones que las universidades ya están haciendo en ámbito de comercio justo y consumo responsable, y naturalmente fomentar nuevas acciones en conjunto. Estamos creando una red de universidades latinoamericanas y caribeñas que apoyan el comercio justo a través de actividades académicas, de extensión social y de vinculación directa con las organizaciones de pequeños productores de comercio justo. También a través de la compra directa a estas organizaciones de varios de los productos que producen y comercializan en los mercados locales y nacionales.

Así vamos a construir relaciones locales más fuertes y de largo plazo, valorizamos todos los productos de las organizaciones, fomentamos investigaciones y proyectos entre las universidades y las organizaciones de pequeños productores, llegamos a los estudiantes, los jóvenes de las universidades, quienes serán los futuros tomadores de decisiones en nuestros países y con los cuales debemos trabajar mucho los principios y valores del comercio justo y del consumo responsable.

¿Cómo se suma una universidad a la campaña? Muy simple… cumpliendo poco a poco con los siguientes criterios:

La universidad aprueba una declaración institucional de apoyo al comercio justo (y la campaña) y suscribe un convenio, por lo menos, con una organización de pequeños productores de comercio justo o una plataforma/coordinadora nacional.

La universidad cuenta con un grupo de trabajo sobre el comercio justo y apoya diferentes iniciativas sobre comercio justo y consumo responsable.

La universidad (o por lo menos una facultad) adopta una nueva política de adquisiciones y suministros, comprando directamente a organizaciones de pequeños productores de comercio justo.

La universidad apoya, por lo menos, una investigación o una publicación al año sobre Economía Solidaria, Comercio Justo y Consumo Responsable.

La universidad cuenta, por lo menos, con un curso académico al año en el cual se abarcan los temas de la Economía Solidaria, el Comercio Justo y el Consumo Responsable.

LOGO FB - horinzontalSi conoce alguna universidad potencialmente interesada o quiere promover la campaña a nivel local, no dude en contactar a Universidades Latinoamericanas por el Comercio Justo en CLAC al correo ulcj@claconline.com




CLAC continues to promote Universities for Fair Trade campaign

Building stable relationships based on mutual benefit among fair trade producers’ organization and the academic world is a task that is a bit difficult and long term. However, Latin American producers have understood that this is a very important challenge in increasing the awareness of citizens in our societies and educating them in the values and principles of a more solidarity-based economy, more responsible, committed consumption, and more fair and equitable trade.

Nine months after the launching of this campaign, Bogota’s Uniminuto was declared the first Latin American university for Fair Trade. In Colombia, three other universities are in internal processes of complying with the criteria, and through the campaign, they are assessing all the work being carried out in local fair trade. In Costa Rica, three universities are interested in the campaign, and their formal commitment to join the network is expected soon. Efforts are also underway with two potential universities for fair trade in Ecuador, one in Nicaragua, and two in Peru.

In recent months we have received a number of letters supporting the campaign: from Universidad de Cantabria (university for fair trade in Spain), from Fair World Project (in the US), from the Costa Rican and Panamanian Fair Trade Network and from the Ecuadoran Fair Trade Network. At CLAC we continue to promote this shared effort that we trust will bring positive results for our continent.

Latin American Universities for Fair Trade campaign begins

CLAC has initiated a campaign entitled “Latin American Universities for Fair Trade,” which is an initiative that seeks to increase awareness and have an impact around the importance of establishing links between Fair Trade and responsible consumption in our Latin American and Caribbean societies.

The primary objective of this campaign is to create a Latin American Network of Latin American and Caribbean Universities that support fair trade through actions in the academic setting, social outreach and networking with small fair trade producers’ organizations.

Universities are educating current and future policy decision-makers and are vital in all educational, research and development processes. Thus, they have an enormous potential for becoming active players in concretely promoting trade relations that are fairer and more in line with solidarity.

Join efforts to build this Latin American and Caribbean network of universities committed actively and academically to fair, solidarity-based economic and trade relations!

Support the organized small producers in our countries by: learning more about their experiences and solidarity-based trade activities; becoming informed about the values and practices of fair trade and solidarity economics; and changing your consumer habits and convincing the administrators at your universities to do the same, through new, solidarity-based policies on purchases and in-house consumption!


We encourage you to discover how you can become part of this initiative by visiting this site: www.clac-comerciojusto.org/ulcj and  Facebook

Ecuador: Workshop for developing a strategy to promote Fair Trade

In Ecuador, within the framework for research on “Agricultural Certification Systems, Producers’ Organizations and Co-Governance of Public Policies in Ecuador,” carried out with assistance from York University (Canada) and FLACSO-Ecuador, a two-day workshop was conducted with direct participation by small producers from the Ecuadoran Fair Trade Network.

 On July 10-11, about 20 representatives from six fair trade organizations in the country (UROCAL, FOMNSOEAM, Asociación Cerro Azul, COPROBICH, JAMBI KIWA, and FAPECAFES) and support organizations such as TRIAS, CLAC, FLACSO, York University, and the Bolivian and Peruvian Fair Trade Networks, had the opportunity to discuss various issues concerning small producers’ organizations and to begin to develop, on the basis of consensus, a position document on the “Ecuadoran Strategy for Promoting Fair Trade 2014-2017.” Ecuador’s Foreign Trade Secretariat officially presented this strategy to the country’s National Secretariat for Planning and Development (Secretaría Nacional de Planificación y Desarrollo—SENPLADES) on July 23, 2014. It is hoped that this strategy will soon be translated into a public policy that will support the stakeholders who are building fair trade relations in Ecuador on a daily basis.

According to the research project coordinator at FLACSO-Ecuador, Patrick Clark of Canada: “the workshop we have conducted together with CECJ is very important, especially for providing an opportunity for reflecting upon the problems experienced on a daily basis by producers and organizations in Ecuador’s fair trade system. It is important that fair trade producers’ organizations have opportunities for reflecting upon what they are experiencing in the current situation. For those of us in the academic sector, this type of workshop is helpful in analyzing the current situation in Ecuador and in generating new academic analysis on fair trade in relation to a number of its fundamental aspects.”