BY ISN STAFF | July 22, 2021
In spring of 2021, Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh, D-Phil. approved the university’s Fair Trade Resolution, the final component needed to earn the Fair Trade University distinction from the international Fair Trade Campaigns organization.Gonzaga joins more than 70 U.S. colleges and universities to pass a Fair Trade Resolution, including six other Jesuit colleges and universities—Seattle University, Loyola Marymount University, Saint Joseph’s University, John Carroll University, Fordham University, and Rockhurst University.
Gonzaga also joins a number of Jesuit high schools with Fair Trade School status through Fair Trade Campaigns, including Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL, the first Jesuit school to earn the distinction in 2015, and Saint Ignatius High School, the second to do so, in 2016.
The resolution commits Gonzaga to make Fair Trade produced products available in on-campus food service locations and on-campus retail locations. Fair Trade Gonzaga, a student group, has worked over the last two years with Sodexo, the campus food service provider, to meet or exceed all requirements of recognition. These commitments include making a certain number of Fair Trade food products available in all on-campus dining facilities and catered events, the inclusion of Fair trade products in on-campus retail stores, and continued community education around the importance of Fair Trade.
Isabel Zimmerman, president of Fair Trade Gonzaga, said the group’s members are excited to see the work they’ve done over the past several years come to fruition.
“Fair Trade products are vital to the lives of farmers and workers around the world and providing more access to these products on Gonzaga’s campus allows students to vote with their dollar for the kind of companies they want to support,” Zimmerman said. “Although our work doesn’t end here, passing this resolution is a huge step forward in Gonzaga’s commitment to Fair Trade and support of their mission statement.”
Jim Simon, Gonzaga’s director of sustainability, notes the designation is consistent with what Pope Francis describes in “Laudato Si,” his encyclical letter on the environment and human ecology, as an “integral ecology” in which the human and social dimensions of ecology are respected.
“This designation is a result of deep collaboration between students in the Gonzaga Environmental Organization (GEO), Fair Trade Gonzaga, Zag Dining by Sodexo, the Office of Sustainability, and the Food Systems working group. To achieve our Real Food goal and Fair Trade designation in quick succession is a testament to the commitment that Gonzaga has to care for the planet and examine our consumption patterns towards a common good,” Simon said.