Posted 7 March 2014
A giant banana cake competition and smoothie-making push bike have been some of the activities arranged at Harper Adams University to help staff and students to engage with Fairtrade Fortnight 2014.
The Catering Department at Shropshire’s first university backs the annual event to help to support the Fairtrade Foundation. The aim is to promote the principles and products of Fairtrade and highlight the links between consumers and producers.
This year’s theme, which runs from February 24 to March 9, is ‘Make Bananas Fair’ – a campaign that strives to transform the banana industry to ensure farmers and workers get a fair deal.
Catering Manager, David Nuttall, and his team arranged a variety of special banana-themed activities and meal options for the catering outlets on campus.
David said: “We support Fairtrade Fortnight every year and were first awarded official Fairtrade status in 2008. We have aimed to promote the use of Fairtrade products ever since.
“As the theme this year is bananas, we were lucky to be joined by the Fairtrade smoothie bike – a bike that powers a blender to make tasty smoothies.
“We invited staff and students to use their pedal power to make a banana smoothie in exchange for a donation to the cause.
“On Shrove Tuesday, pancake day, we offered pancakes with a banana topping as the dessert option for catered students.
“Finally, we organised a special Fairtrade coffee morning in the Kaldi Café on campus. A selection of Fairtrade drinks and snacks were on offer and we had a giant banana cake competition.”
The cake was made by the Catering Department and staff and students were invited to guess the weight for £1, with the prize being the cake itself.
Final year engineering student, Cormac Flaherty, had the closest guess of 6322g. The cake actually weighed a whopping 6.4kg.
David was also invited to discuss the Harper Adams Fairtrade activities on BBC Radio Shropshire last week.
Last year, Harper Adams was hailed a national example of best practice in a guide the Fairtrade Foundation put together to urge other universities to join the campaign.
To retain Fairtrade status, the university has to meet five goals, one of which includes ensuring that Fairtrade products are available in all campus shops, cafes, restaurants and at all meetings and events hosted by the university.