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“It’s what’s inside that counts” for students’ supporting Fairtrade Fortnight and trade justice

The Union of Students in Ireland have partnered up with Fairtrade Ireland for two weeks of inspiration on global fair trade. Events across Ireland will showcase the enormous growth of Fair Trade products available in Ireland and highlight the work still to come in promoting fairer Ireland. As part of the fortnight, Fairtrade Ireland have organised a speaker tour with two speakers ;Sara Montoya, a international Business student from the COOPCAFTER coffee co-op in Colombia and Blas Arismendis  Marcelinos for the BANELINO bananas co-op in the Dominican Republic. They will be visiting towns and third level institutions across Ireland to speak about the positive impacts creating a Fairtrade community can have on people’s lives.

Speaking ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight, USI President Síona Cahill said:
“This is a perfect example of acting locally but thinking globally. Sara is a young international business student, much like many of our members. We are really looking forward to hearing how our actions and decisions go beyond a simple cup of coffee and have a positive impact on the world we live in.”

USI Vice President for Equality & Citizenship, Aisling Cusack added:
“Students have responded to the need to reduce single use plastics and cut down on waste – and now we’re beginning to focus on what we’re putting inside our shopping baskets and inside our reusable cups – because it’s what’s inside that counts.  Fairtrade fortnight will inspire us all to push harder for global trade justice.”

Ireland is the heaviest tea drinkers per capita in the world, averaging four to six cups a day, but the sobering reality is that only 2% of tea sold in Ireland is Fairtrade. We are working closely with Fairtrade Ireland to spread this message and our members are pushing their Institutions to become Fairtrade learning environments. Similarly, we consume about 5 million bananas every week however only 9% of bananas sold in Ireland are Fairtrade.


  • The Union of Students in Ireland represent over 374,000 students across the island of Ireland
  • USI will support Fairtrade Fortnight between 25th Feb and the 5th of March
  • Events will take place at Dublin City University, NUI Galway, Technological University of
  • Dublin, Cork Institute of Technology and University College Dublin.
  • Only 9% of bananas sold in Ireland are Fairtrade ; from the average price of a banana only goes to worker wages while 39% goes to vat and 20% to importation costs
  • Only 2% of Tea sold in Ireland is Fairtrade
  • More than 1.66 million farmers and workers are Fairtrade Certified.
  • Ireland’s largest coffee company Bewleys converted 100% of their branded coffee to Fairtrade in 2017



Aoife Duff

Public Relations & Communications Manager, USI

M: 083 881 2270


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