Hochschule Geisenheim University's stated goal is to become a sustainable institution through a holistic approach. The Fairtrade University certification marks an important chapter in this development, and students, staff and guests celebrated this milestone in an official certification ceremony. The event was rounded off with a fair trade lunch prepared by our cafeteria team and its chef Sébastien Loison.
“We are excited to receive the Fairtrade University certification, which is another important step in our journey to become a sustainable university. We are well aware of the social responsibility we have as a specialized teaching and research institution in the face of climate change and the need for sustainable production and processing in the food and beverage industry”, emphasized Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz. The “Fairtrade” label will be one of the tools in Geisenheim to raise awareness among students, staff and citizens of the need for sustainable action.”
The certificate was presented by Heinz Fuchs, former Executive Director of Fairtrade Deutschland e.V. Fuchs emphasized that the certification was “the result of inspiration from different areas of your impressive institution.” He also underlined that the "future-oriented teaching and research" at Hochschule Geisenheim University – especially in the areas of soil fertility, climate change and biodiversity – could make an important contribution to sustainable value creation in the food industry.
Frank Kilian, Head of the District Administration of the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis – which has been certified as a “Fairtrade Community” since 2014 – also offered his personal congratulations. He called the university a shining „beacon“ and a great multiplier among the 30 Fairtrade institutions in the district. Benedikt Braun, Chairman of the General Student Committee (AStA) at the university called the certification a “chance to experience and live sustainability”. The Student Committee places great emphasis on sustainability and fair trade by selling fair traded products in its shop and in the AStA-run outdoor bar “Das Alte Weinfass“.
In order to receive the certification and to be allowed to carry the "Fairtrade University" label in the future, Hochschule Geisenheim University commits itself to the principles of fair trade, offers fair traded products in the cafeteria as well as at events, and informs the university members about the importance of fair trade at events or campaigns. All “fair trade” activities are coordinated by the Green Office of the university.
According to Tabea Dietrich, Sustainability Officer at Hochschule Geisenheim University, the path towards the certification could serve as an example for the future campus development process: “As in the certification process, we will involve all university members in the sustainable university development. In interactive formats, we will collect ideas with the university community and develop a list of measures for the fields of teaching and student affairs, research, knowledge transfer, university operations and administration. Our performance will be constantly evaluated, and we will communicate our goals and progress transparently.”