Johanna Belz

  • Five people stand in front of the canteen and hold certificates in front of them.

    Happy about the award (from left): AStA representatives Johanna Zier, Helena Post and Johanna Belz, Christian Jorge Vinz from the Studentenwerk Oldenburg and Vice President Jörg Stahlmann. Photo: University of Oldenburg/Daniel Schmidt

  • Young woman standing in front of a microphone, campaign poster in the background.

    As a representative of the AStA, Johanna Zier was involved in the campaign for the University of Oldenburg to become a Fairtrade University. Photo: University of Oldenburg/Daniel Schmidt

  • Video message from Krogmann can be seen on a laptop screen, with a woman's back in the foreground.

    Oldenburg's mayor Jürgen Krogmann congratulated the university with a message of greeting. Photo: University of Oldenburg/Daniel Schmidt

Fair trade on campus

The organization Fairtrade Germany has recognized the University of Oldenburg as a Fairtrade-University. This makes it one of 36 universities in Germany that have proven to integrate fair trade into every day university life.

For its commitment to fair trade, the organization Fairtrade Germany today recognized the University of Oldenburg as a Fairtrade-University. This makes it one of currently 36 universities in Germany that have proven to integrate certified products made under high social, ecological and economic standards into everyday university life and promote fair trade.

The Student Parliament and the Student Council (AStA) initiated the university’s participation in the Fairtrade campaign. To obtain the certification, the student representatives, the university administration and the Studentenwerk Oldenburg joined forces.

The award was presented during an online ceremony by Dieter Overath, CEO of Fairtrade Germany. Oldenburg's mayor, Jürgen Krogmann, congratulated the university via a message of greeting. Jörg Stahlmann, the university's vice president for administration and finance, emphasized that for the University of Oldenburg, the topic of Fairtrade is closely linked to its active commitment to climate protection, sustainability and diversity. “As a university, we in particular are under an obligation to act responsibly," Stahlmann said. According to Johanna Belz, member of the AStA Department for Sustainability, the students will continue to work on their aim of making the university more sustainable and remind the university of its obligations as a Fairtrade-University

Studentenwerk relies on fair trade products

At the request of the AStA and the student parliament, the university management had decided on February 9, 2021, to participate in the Fairtrade-University campaign. The Studentenwerk has been an important partner from the very beginning. It has been using fair trade products for many years and has recently increased its selection. To celebrate the award, the Studentenwerk is today offering a three-course menu with numerous fair trade ingredients in the Uhlhornsweg canteen. Guests at the canteen on the Wechloy campus can also choose dishes made from fair trade ingredients today.

In order to obtain the title of Fairtrade-University, various criteria had to be met. For example, it had to be proven that the university offers fair trade products at official meetings and events, that fair trade products are available in university catering – for example in the cafeterias. Besides, events should be regularly held that focus on fair trade issues, such as workshops on supply chain laws, fair seals, or human rights organised by the AStA.

Better prices and decent working conditions

The organization Fairtrade Germany strives to connect consumers, companies and producer organizations. The aim is to achieve better prices for smallholder families and decent working conditions for employees on plantations in developing and emerging countries. To obtain the Fairtrade label, companies and institutions must, for example, disclose their trade relations and prove that regulated working conditions prevail on the supplying plantations, trade unions are promoted, child labor is prohibited and no hazardous pesticides are used.

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