Berea College Earns “Fair Trade” Status

Berea College has been named as Kentucky’s second Fair Trade University by Fair Trade USA. Fair Trade is a movement that works to reduce poverty, support the ethical treatment of workers and farmers and promote environmentally sustainable practices while helping producers in developing countries obtain fair prices for their products. Fair Trade USA recognizes towns, schools and congregations across the country for embedding Fair Trade practices and principles into policy and into the social and intellectual foundations of their communities.

The Fair Trade University status is awarded to schools that meet five criteria: building a Fair Trade Advisory Council, including Fair Trade in applicable curriculum, offering Fair Trade products at campus outlets, using Fair Trade products on campus, and passing a university-wide resolution to support a commitment to Fair Trade.

The process of earning this status has taken several years and has been led by students from People Who Care, a community-service program in the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS) at Berea College. Faculty members who include Fair Trade information in their courses, campus offices and Dining Services that purchase Fair Trade coffee and tea, and other collaborators across campus have been instrumental in achieving this status, one of only 22 institutions across the country to receive the distinction.

A campus-wide celebration and recognition ceremony is planned for the fall.

For more information about Fair Trade Universities, visit

Categories: News, Places
Tags: Dining Services, Fair Trade, People Who Care

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.