Sustainable UCL


Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 at UCL

24 February 2020–08 March 2020, 12:15 am–11:45 pm

Fairtrade Fortnight Poster

Join us in celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight and help tackle social inequalities by supporting workers around the world. There will be Bake-offs, Chocolate Samplings and Mini Conferences!

Event Information

Open to



Sustainable UCL


Free Chocolate from Divine:

Monday 24th February - School of Pharmacy Refectory & Tuesday 25th February - Institute of Child Health Refectory; 12-2pm.

Come and chat with Divine to find out about the true cost of chocolate and sample their wonderful range of Fairtrade products. They have been working with the Fairtrade Foundation, RSPB, Comic Relief, Twin and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to support cocoa farmers in Sierra Leone. Watch their video to hear these inspirational stories. 

Free Fairtrade Bakes:

Wednesday 26th February, 12pm - 2pm / Student Centre Foyer.

We will be in the Student Centre to talk to you about Fairtrade, with delicious cakes and other bakes, so make sure to drop by!

Illustrations of different food labels, such as Fairtrade.
UCL Conservation Society's Mini Conference on Food Labels:

Thursday 5th March, 5pm - 7pm / Pearson Building, Room - G07

Join the Conservation Society for a mini-conference to hear more about the meaning of labels on food packaging, learn about the impact of agriculture on biodiversity, and why our choices as consumers matter if we want to try and protect natural habitats around the world!

Speakers from UCL, Fairtrade Foundation and WWF. 

Book in as spaces are filling up fast!

Free Tony's Chocolonely Giveaway:

Friday 28th February, 12 - 2pm / The Refectory

Come along for a chat and to try some of Tony's Chocolonely bars, which you may have spotted in UCL's shops and cafes.

Tony's Chocolonely are Fairtrade and they enhance quality of life for cocoa farmers by investing in their future, aiming to abolish slavery from the cocoa industry. They work with over 6,000 farmers, purchase around 5,500 tons of cocoa beans and sold over 43 million chocolate bars from 2017-2018.  

Fairtrade Bake-offs Across UCL:
3 cakes made with Fairtrade ingredients

Teams are raising funds for Fairtrade Fortnight. Help them out by buying cake! See locations below:

  • Estates - Bidborough House, 3rd Floor Main Kitchen - Monday 24th - 12pm,
  • Finance and Business Affairs - Bidborough House, G17 - Thursday 27th - 12pm-1:30pm,
  • OVP(Advancement) and Communications & Marketing - Monday 2nd-Wednesday 4th March,
  • Department of Mathematics - 25 Gordon Street - Thursday 27th-Friday28th,
  • The Careers Team - 4th Floor of Central House - Friday 28th.
    • They are also hosting a Swap Shop across the Fortnight so take some clothes with you to swap at your next appointment with Careers!

Photo of a Fairtrade Display with cakes, promotional materials and chocolate

Find out more, sample some chocolate and join in at the following locations across the Fortnight:

  • UCL Refectory and Cafes,
  • Institute of Neurology Library - 23 Queen Square,
  • Institute of Orthopaedics Library - Sir Herbert Seddon Teaching Centre, Stanmore,
  • Institute of Ophthalmology Library - 11-43 Bath Street,
  • Student Psychological and Counselling Services.

Chance to Win!

Wednesday 26th February, 11am - 2pm, Project Period will be back in the Student Centre Foyer.

Find out how UCL's Project Period team are trying to provide free sustainable sanitary ware to all menstruating people at UCL and the social justice issues around Period Poverty. Come along for a chat and sign up to enter the competition. Chance to win by following us on Instagram @SustainableUCL too!

What is Fairtrade?

The Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 and was the joint effort of CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, Global Justice Now and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. Today, even more charities and NGOs support the Foundation in its pursuit for workers’ rights. 

It is largely recognisable through the now iconic label which you might have seen on bananas, Maltesers®, coffee, tea and Ben & Jerry’s! 32% of the products sold at UCL are Fairtrade certified. It goes beyond our snacks and coffee breaks though with the Foundation supporting workers in the cotton, fresh-cut flowers, gold mining and wine industries.

Living Income Campaign:

2020 is the second year of this campaign, which fights for a net annual income, for smallholder cocoa farmers that can provide a decent standard of living, for all in the household. This is a basic human right which includes;

  • Access to safe drinking water,
  • An education,
  • Decent living conditions,
  • Access to healthcare,
  • Nutritious diets,
  • A dignified retirement age,
  • The ability to save for unexpected setbacks on their holdings.

Establishing a Fairtrade Minimum Price, and an additional Fairtrade Premium that goes directly to farmers’ co-operatives and their communities, provides security and a decent standard of living. 

In 2020, Fairtrade Fortnight will celebrate the work of women farmers in the cocoa industry in West Africa. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana grow over 60% of the world’s cocoa and the UK chocolate industry is worth over £4 billion annually. Cocoa farmers in these countries, often make less than 75p a day and are unlikely to ever try the end product, chocolate, that we love so much.* Help us raise awareness this fortnight by hosting an event, sharing their stories, buying Fairtrade or just coming along to chat at any of the events going on around campus. 

Tell us about your experience of Fairtrade

To find out more about UCL's commitment to Fairtrade, check out our website.

Environmental Justice is Social Justice

The chocolate industry in the UK has witnessed a drop in recent years, but as of 2018, we still managed to consume over 680,000 tonnes of the stuff. One tree produces enough cocoa to make just 1kg of chocolate, which consumes the equivalent to approximately 573 showers worth of water in the production process. 

21 people from Cote d’Ivoire have the same carbon footprint as one person in the UK’ 

                                                                                                                   Fairtrade Foundation, 2020*²

Africa has also been flagged as the continent most vulnerable to climate change, so whilst Fairtrade farmers have made little contribution to the climate crisis, they are at highest risk of its devastating impacts.

1.66 million farmers and workers are represented by the Fairtrade label. They are demanding sustainable trade using farming techniques in line with the Fairtrade Standards. These include taking action to reduce carbon emissions, reduction of water waste and prevention of soil erosion. By protecting these environmental resources today, the farmers not only improve their own living conditions and productivity but protect the planet for prosperity.

Sign the Fairtrade Foundation's Petition to Support the Farmers' Fight for a Fair Climate

Why Just a Fortnight?

By promoting justice for the labour forces that produce our favourite snacks, we can ensure a living wage for all becomes standard practice across the world. Picking up a Fairtrade product is easy; the results for the industry are immense. Whilst the responsibility isn’t on the individual to transform the industry, we are influential, collective consumers in the UK. Eight cocoa traders and grinders monopolise approximately 75%*³ of the global cocoa trade. If we tell these traders, through our buying habits, that we want Fairtrade, they will have to respond. 

The role that Fairtrade Fortnight plays in shedding light on the social injustices of industries such as cocoa and coffee, is crucial. Along with the Living Income Campaign, the Foundation is introducing ‘Storybombs’ to spread engagement.


These adorable wallets have been designed by the London-based artist, DorcasCreates, to tell the inspiring stories of Edith and Therese who both work in the Cocoa Industry. The idea behind the 'storybomob' is to share these women's stories with friends, family, colleagues and complete strangers! Hide them around your department, Halls of Residence, offices, etc. for someone else to stumble upon. There are two beautifully illustrated bookmarks for the first two people who find them. Then, hide the wallet again to spread the message and help the Fairtrade Foundation raise awareness. You can order yours here for free!