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.
Chilean Fairtrade wine
In Chile there are few smallholders and the wine business is monopolised by big businesses. Not many women work in wine and if they do, it’s not at a leadership level. Caupolican co-operative, who produce our Co-op Carmenere, have broken the mould. This winery is not only run by a woman, but the workforce is made up of 50% women too. They use the Fairtrade Premium to provide bursaries to workers for training and education and have funded a library in a primary school.
Argentinian Fairtrade wine
In Argentina, Lara and Juan have graduated from the Co-op funded school. Their father works for La Riojana co-op, who have been supplying us with Fairtrade wine since 2006. Fairtrade premiums and additional Co-op funding helped to build the school Lara and Juan attended, as well as secure a water supply to her village. We’re now working with La Riojana to build a new healthcare centre.
South African Fairtrade wine
We've funded a range of projects with our South African wine producers Du Toitskloof, Stellenrust Merwida and Bosman. This contribution is democratically invested each year by the producers in a range of projects including supporting education and improving housing.
In 2018, we signed one of the biggest deals in Fairtrade wine history and convert our entry level red, white and rosé South African wine, meaning an extra 3 million litres being sold annually.