Collège Mont Notre-Dame became the first Estrie school to receive Fairtrade Canada’s “Fair Trade” designation and the ninth largest in the province on Tuesday.
C e are small steps that, over the years, led to obtaining this designation.
The sale of fair trade products in the institution’s walls began in 2008 with Café solidaire, says teacher Rémi Auger, head of the Café with his colleague Jean-Marc Deschênes.
The student cooperative was created by students who took part in a humanitarian trip to Nicaragua. Today, there are 90 students in grades one to five that revolve around the cooperative, which offers smoothies and hot chocolate in the morning and lunchtime.
The designation of Mont Notre-Dame adds to several initiatives that make Sherbrooke a “fair city”, a certification that the Queen of the Eastern Townships obtained in 2011, says the director of the Carrefour de solidarité internationale (CSI), Étienne Doyon. The CSI is the organization delegated by the City to coordinate the Sherbrooke Fair City movement. It can accompany schools and businesses interested in joining the movement. More than forty shops, in addition to fifteen cafes and restaurants, are among them.
“When you look at the history of Sherbrooke, it’s still interesting. Sherbrooke is one of the first major cities to be certified. There was the Canada Games Fair (in 2013), there was the Fair Trade Campus with the University of Sherbrooke; it was the first French-language university in Canada to be certified fair; there was the Fair Workplace; the first French-speaking Canadian work place is in Sherbrooke (note: the CSI) … There are a lot of firsts, and there is really a craze that has been created (…) For us, what is important is that this momentum exists, “said Étienne Doyon.
President of the Environment Committee at the City of Sherbrooke, Councilor Karine Godbout says she is trying to see how the city can go further with the use of fair trade products. To improve the balance sheet, it is necessary to turn to the supplies of the City. She would like the hot chocolate distributed at the Carnaval de Sherbrooke to be fair, she gives as an example.
College certification was awarded by Fairtrade Canada, the Canadian Fair Trade Network and the Quebec Fair Trade Association.
Four criteria were needed to obtain it, including incorporating notions of fair trade into the classroom. The announcement was made while the month of fair trade opens. Loïc de Fabritus, from the Quebec Fair Trade Association, reminded the daughters of the Mont of the power they had in their choice of consumption. “Every week, if someone asks for a fair product, maybe the grocer will be able to get it …” Fair Trade stresses greater fairness in international trade and human rights. workers.