We have supported Fairtrade for over 26 years. There’s still a lot to do to overcome unfairness in the food chain, but together we can make a difference. It’s our goal to make it easier for you to support communities around the world with every shop.
Products for a fairer world
We were founded on ethical trade. It runs through every area of our business and why we’re dedicated to supporting fair trading and the aims of the World Fairtrade Organization and Fairtrade Charter. We try and sell as many Fairtrade products as we possibly can taking into account the fact that we have smaller, more local shops, all of which sell mainly food.
We were the first UK retailer to source all our cocoa on Fairtrade terms and launch the world’s first and only own brand 100% Fairtrade chocolate range. Every spoonful of cocoa we use helps provide around £450,000 a year in premiums for farmers across West Africa and Central America.
Nothing beats a good cuppa. And by good, we mean one that’s made using Fairtrade tea that helps improve communities in Kenya and Malawi. It couldn’t be easier as all our own brand tea has been Fairtrade for over 10 years with every brew made helping support tens of thousands of tea smallholders, workers and their communities.
How do you like your coffee? We think it should be improving lives by supporting women’s empowerment projects and producers in Colombia and Guatemala. This is why coffee has played an important part in our 26 year history of Fairtrade with us switch our entire own brand range to Fairtrade back in 2003 when prices were at a 30 year low and farmers were struggling to afford to grow their coffee.
Back in 2004, we became the first retailer to start selling Fairtrade sugar. Now it’s the only type we have on our shelves following a promise we made to support Belize smallholder associations in improving their social, economic and environmental conditions. This has been achieved in collaboration with Tate & Lyle Sugars. Sweet!
We’re bananas about Fairtrade bananas. In 2000, we were the first to stock them. Then in 2012, we switched all our bananas to Fairtrade and began supporting smallholders through our sourcing plan which helps improve communities in Panama and the Dominican Republic. But that wasn’t enough, so in 2018, we decided that whenever we use bananas as an ingredient, Fairtrade producers benefit from it.
Did you know that we were the first retailer to only use 100% Fairtrade roses when sourced from Africa. We were also the first to sign up to the new International Fairtrade Sourcing Ingredients model for flowers. This means you can double check on the pack to be sure your blooms have been sourced responsibly. Now that’s a bunch of reasons to choose us!
Let’s raise a glass to our retailer firsts in Fairtrade wine! In 2001 we were the first retailer to launch an own-brand fairly traded wine, the Co-op Chilean Carmenere. Fourteen years later, in 2015 we delightedly took the place of the largest Fairtrade wine seller worldwide, and now, in 2022, we are incredibly proud to announce that all of the South African wine, across branded and own label is now Fairtrade, another industry first! And to further strengthen our commitment to the South African wine industry, we have invested £800k into Fairroots, a start up winery in Olifants River South Africa.
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More from Fairtrade
Our 26 year commitment to Fairtrade is part of our mission to create all Co-op products focused on respect for people and the planet. Read more about our Future of Food ambition and our food sustainability plans to 2030.
Have you seen a Fairtrade Mark on one of our products instore? Find out what they mean and the commitments behind them.