Students launch campus Food Co-op during Fairtrade Fortnight

Students launch campus Food Co-op during Fairtrade Fortnight

The Aberdeen University Students' Association is launching a Fairtrade and organic food co-operative next week (Monday 24 February) during the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight.

The Corner is a student run co-op that provides organic and Fairtrade food products to the University community at wholesale prices. Besides the weigh-your-own rice, beans, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, The Corner also sell hand-made jewellery, household products, confectionery, snacks, teas and much of what you would need for food-preparation.

Students and staff are invited to attend a free event on Monday 24 February between 1.30 pm and 3pm at Alfies Cafe, Butchart Centre to celebrate the launch of the co-op.

There will be a drinks reception and a selection of dishes to taste, made by co-op members using a variety of ingredients sourced from the co-op.

The Fairtrade fortnight programme includes a host of other events including a not to missed Pecha Kucha night on the Tuesday 4 March featuring Hilary Homans, Director of Centre for Sustainable International Development,  and Professor Adam Price from the School of Biological Sciences. Free drinks are available to the first 50 attendees.

One of the co-op organisers Elisabeth Haljas said: “As a nutrition student I find that organic food can be of better nutritional quality to us, but it is not yet widely available in Aberdeen, at least not at affordable prices - especially for a student budget. For some years we (Shared Planet society) have operated a Fairtrade shop. Now we are able to develop this into an independent food coop that is open longer and more often and gives everybody a chance to enhance their diet by buying affordable organic food, and in exactly the quantities they need! We do try to source mostly Fairtrade products as we believe that farm workers should not be exploited through food production.”

Eva Nohe, President for Environment and Ethics, says: “Establishing a permanent food co-operative was on the manifesto based on which I got elected, and I am very happy to watch it come into its own. I see co-operatives as a great alternative to the traditional supermarket model where profits are the top priority. Student cooperatives are non-hierarchical organisations that put community first and act based on the needs of their members, and it is great to have AUSA supporting this venture."

Dr. Karen Salt, Director of the Centre for the Study of History, Culture and the Environment, is keen to see the scheme come into fruition.

She added: “As someone who loves learning about food cultures around the world, I am immensely excited to see our students spearhead such an initiative.  As a consumer, I’m thrilled that a food coop will be right around the corner from my office.  I hope that it becomes an integral part of community life on campus.”

The Co-op is situated in Alfies’ Café in the Butchart centre and open between 11am– 3pm Monday to Friday during term-time.

For more information contact Hannah Kenter, Sustainable Futures project manager at Aberdeen University Students Association, by emailing: or call  01224 274550.