Otago Polytechnic is likely to become New Zealand's first
fair trade polytechnic, after its governing body voted to adopt
fair trade policies for the institution.
A recent Otago Polytechnic Council meeting unanimously backed
a recommendation from polytechnic sustainability director
Jean Tilleyshort, aimed at gaining official fair trade
The council accepted the principle of fair trade and decided
to create a fair trade policy for the polytechnic, to meet
the minimum requirements for fair trade institutions.
''Otago Polytechnic has the opportunity to become the first
polytechnic in New Zealand to become a fair trade member and
be recognised as a fair trade supporter,'' Ms Tilleyshort
Some Australian universities had achieved fair trade status,
but no New Zealand tertiary institution had official ''fair
Otago University was also implementing a fair trade policy,
in alignment with the Dunedin City Council's policy, she
The polytechnic and university could jointly announce their
fair trade policies and alignment with the city council, for
''maximum impact'', Ms Tilleyshort said in a report tabled at
the polytechnic council's meeting last week. Several further
steps must be taken before the polytechnic can gain ''fair
trade'' status: including setting up a steering group to set
and monitor goals, committing to selling fair trade products,
and selling fair trade tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate
drinks and bars at its sales outlets.
''Fair Trade'' policies offer companies and institutions a
way to ensure their trade has a positive impact on the people
who produce the goods, such as coffee, on sale.
In late 2009, Dunedin became New Zealand's first free trade
city, after being formally recognised by the Fair Trade
Association of Australia and New Zealand.