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Sustainability in a Cup: Fair Trade Procurement

tea harvest

Is your jurisdiction or organization looking for sustainable products that are not only designed to protect the environment but are also produced in ways that provide fair wages and working conditions? Working in partnership with Fair Trade Campaigns, RPN has created two fair trade purchasing guides that can help you fulfill your commitment to sustainability by sourcing products that are fair trade-certified by third party organizations. The two guides are similar but are tailored to different audiences: 1) cities and towns; and 2) colleges and universities.

Each guide includes:

To learn more about fair trade practices and suply chains and hear a summary of the guides, watch a recording of our Sustainability in a Cup webinar.

 

Fair Trade Purchasing Guide for Cities and Towns

Fair Trade Purchasing Guide for Cities and Towns covers everything municipalities might need to know to add fair trade-certified coffee, tea, sugar, and cocoa to their contracts. 

Sample Tip: In a municipal context, where coffee may appear as one of many items on a long commodity contract, one of the most important things to remember is that products on a contract’s core or “market basket” list often get the best prices because vendors are evaluated based on these prices. Therefore, placing fair trade items on your core list is a good way to secure the best prices for these products.

To learn more about this and other bid solicitation strategies, read our Fair Trade Purchasing Guide for Cities and Towns.

Fair Trade Purchasing Guide for Colleges and Universities

Fair Trade Purchasing Guide for College and University Food Service Purchasers is designed for purchasing agents on higher education campuses. Student advocacy groups often promote the purchase of fair trade goods, but they may not be familiar with contracting strategies that can help their institution successfully identify and add these products to their contracts.

Sample Tip: On a Food Services RFP, vendors can be evaluated using a Vendor Questionnaire, which enables the purchaser to learn more about the vendor’s fair trade sourcing practices. During the bid evaluation process, points can be allocated to vendors that offer the widest variety of certified fair trade products, include clear labeling of fair trade products in their ordering system, etc.  

To learn more about this and other bid solicitation strategies, read our Fair Trade Purchasing Guide for College and University Food Service Purchasers.


Sustainability in a Cup: Fair Trade Procurement Webinar
RPN’s Fair Trade Month webinar, Sustainability in a Cup, shared the highlights of our two Fair Trade Purchasing Guides, as well as additional background on the unique approach of the fair trade supply chain.

This webinar covered:

  • An overview of fair trade practices
  • An analysis of a fair trade supply chain
  • Relevant certifications and definitions
  • Recommended fair trade policy language
  • Model bid specifications, vendor questions, and contract language for targeted commodities and food service agreements
  • Strategies for securing competitive pricing and a wide selection for fair trade goods – starting with coffee, tea, suga,r and cocoa.

Speakers included:

  • Courtney Lang, National Organizer, Fair Trade Towns
  • Sarah Church, Food Policy Specialist, RPN