Fairtrade University

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Award Demonstrates Fairtrade Engagement

In a process that lasted almost two years in total, the University's sustainability awareness was reviewed based on five criteria.

The title has been awarded for a limited period of time. In order for the title to be renewed, the University must clearly continue to fulfill the criteria. The title makes the University's commitment visible; it contributes to sustainable development and takes responsibility for the impact of its own consumption in international growing regions. For example, the University emphasizes the use of fair trade products when catering for guests.

The certificate was presented to Professor Niklas von der Aßen, RWTH's Rector's Delegate for Sustainability, and the Fairtrade Group by Dieter Overath, Executive Director of Fairtrade Germany, during the Sustainability Days. RWTH works intensively with Studierendenwerk and the city of Aachen on the topic of Fairtrade.

The initiative has strengthened sustainability awareness, but also intensified regional and national networking, for example with other Fairtrade Universities.

RWTH's "Fairtrade University" status makes this commitment visible, but above all it helps to make this commitment visible to civil society, within the university, and to other interested stakeholders, and to motivate them to participate and emulate it.


  • creates direct market access for producers
  • relies on long-term, fair, and partnership-based trade relations
  • offers fair prices to producers
  • protects the rights of workers and small farmers and strengthens their position
  • protects the rights of children and promotes equal rights for women
  • promotes environmental protection, for example by switching to organic agriculture
  • carries out educational and political campaign work to make the rules of world trade fairer.


Anyone with a project or measure that promotes the topic of “Fair Trade” and strengthens and supports the commitment of RWTH Aachen University as a Fairtrade University can apply for financial support from the Fairtrade budget.

To be considered for funding, the event or measure should be clear in its intention regarding the topic “Fair Trade” and communicate it thematically in an original and independent way.

Apply for financial support for your Fairtrade event now!


    Examples of support are, for example:

    • Subsidizing catering at public events (difference between conventional and Fairtrade products)
    • Organizing events on the topic of Fairtrade, for example, subsidizing the fees of speakers and presenters
    • Co-financing information material on Fairtrade

    The maximum funding for each application is 500 euros. Informal applications can be submitted by .


      Applications for funding from the Fairtrade Budget must briefly state the following aspects:

      • Subject and objective of the project or measure
      • Target group; expected number of participants
      • List: financing; specific detail of the item that is to be subsidized, with justifications.

      In the context of the subsidized measure, reference must be made to the funding provided by the RWTH Fairtrade Budget. In the follow-up to the funded measure, a short report including framework data, photos, participant numbers, and, if applicable, communication material, etc., is to be sent to the Sustainability and University Governance staff unit.

      The Fairtrade budget is limited. The decision on eligibility for funding is made by RWTH’s Sustainability and University Governance staff unit and the AStA Students’ Committee’s Department for Sustainability and Student Engagement of RWTH Aachen University.

      The following aspects are taken into consideration when deciding on support or funding:

      • Publicity or scope of the action or project.
      • Self-financing
      • Purposeful or convincing overall concept

      We recommend submitting a funding application before procuring the project, as funding is not automatic, but rather the aforementioned aspects must be fulfilled. If there are any uncertainties regarding eligibility, please feel free to contact us in advance of the application at .


      Get Involved With Fairtrade at RWTH and in Aachen

      Join In – Steeering Group

      Students, employees in administration, and representatives from the catering industry are all part of the steering group and are jointly committed to incorporating Fairtrade products into everyday university life. In addition, the group cooperates with various teams from the University as well as the Fairtrade steering groups of the City of Aachen, FH Aachen, and the KatHO Aachen.
      The steering group is always looking for more members – anyone who would like to get involved with Fairtrade at RWTH, organize events, or plan communication, for example via social media, is welcome to contact us by email.

      Catering at the University

      In August 2021, the Rector and Chancellor issued a joint circular calling on all members of the university to actively implement Catering With Fairtrade Products. In order to promote the consumption of Fairtrade products, such as coffee and tea, but also sugar and cookies, in all areas of the university, we would like to ask for your support:

      Consider using Fairtrade products when catering regularly scheduled meetings and public events at your institute, faculty, or administrative unit in the future.

      You can find potential products, for example, in the RWTH Purchasing Portal (under Catering/Organic/Fairtrade).

      In order to create an overview of the current status at RWTH, please enter events or meetings with catering that includes at least two Fairtrade products in your university institution in the form Catering With Fairtrade Products.

      Fairtrade Map for the City of Aachen

      If you would like to buy your own Fairtrade products beyond the University, the Fairtrade map for the City of Aachen also provides an overview of stores and cafés. In addition, you can use this online product finder for individual Fairtrade products, for example, tea, flowers, etc.