The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh became the first campus in the U.S. declared a Fair Trade university in 2008–meaning the institution is devoted to supporting the movement and by using and selling fair trade items whenever possible.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said: “Goods produced under conditions which do not meet a rudimentary standard to decency should be regarded as contraband and not allowed to pollute the channels of international commerce.”
UW Oshkosh committed to three goals in order to be labeled as Fair Trade: to provide fair trade options in dining establishments and catered events, to market these fair trade items in University stores, and to raise awareness to students and faculty about the benefits of fair trade.
“This year we have a lot more fair trade products which is really great. We also have a fair trade intern and committee. We just want to make sure that there is promotion and emphasis about fair trade on campus,” Anna Schilcher, a junior at UW Oshkosh, said.
Fair trade items are sold throughout campus, which gives students, faculty, staff and campus members a choice. Blackhawk Commons sells Aspretto Fair Trade coffee and tea, Corner Convenience Store supplies Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Equal Exchange Organic Fair Trade coffee, Choice Organic Fair Trade tea and many more options. The University Bookstore is proud to shelf Alta Gracia clothing. It also has an entire section that is set aside for Unique Batik, Minga hats, jewelry, laptop bags, scarves and more.
In 2002, UW Oshkosh signed and endorsed the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is a network that strives toward a peaceful, just, and sustainable society. UW Oshkosh considers fair trade consistent with the values expressed in the Earth Charter.