Co-op has been at the forefront of Fairtrade for twenty years and it’s been amazing to see how Fairtrade has grown into a worldwide movement in such a short time. Sales continue to grow and Co-op is proud of the role we have played. Our list of accomplishments over the years goes on and on and we’re not slowing down.

All this is good news and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the job in reaching the world’s poorest producers has been done. Sadly, that is far from the case. Challenges are vast and Fairtrade only reaches a minority of producers and their communities.

But, despite the obvious challenges Fairtrade faces, we at Co-op are delighted to announce a new project in Kenya to support the 20,000 members of the Fintea co-operative, a business that we ourselves helped bring into being, into Fairtrade and into Co-op’s 99 Tea several years ago.

The Fintea co-operative and the 50,000 people across its farming community will benefit from a new community resource centre we’re helping to fund, giving access to vital educational, recreational, cultural, health and lifelong learning opportunities. The new centre will also provide training, counselling, a library and access to the internet.

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It’s just one example of our continued support for our Fairtrade producers.

And you too can show that you are still standing up for farmers and workers who provide so much of the food we consume at the time they need us most.

Here are some simple ways you can help:

Share stories of Fairtrade #TheCoopWay

We recently premiered our beautiful film featuring the Argentine community, Tilimuqui where our Fairtrade Malbec is produced. This film is perfect for you to share with your communities, either locally or online, to help showcase the good Fairtrade #TheCoopWay does around the world. You can find the full film on our YouTube channel.

Make use of our Fairtrade resources

We have a library of resources for you to use, perhaps at a local school or play group, with community or church groups, or just at home. You can find out more at coop.co.uk/fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation have some great resources too, find out more at fairtrade.org.uk/get-involved.

Learn more about Co-op Fairtrade products

From bananas to cocoa and even flowers and cotton wool, find out more at coop.co.uk/food.

Become a Co-op Member

For £1 you can become a member and have a say in how our Co-op is run. What’s more, you get 5% back for you when you buy selected Co-op products and services and 1% back for your community. You can earn the 5% on all your Co-op Fairtrade purchases. Join us at coop.co.uk/membership.

Choose Fairtrade

It goes without saying, choosing Fairtrade next time you’re in Co-op is the simplest way to support people in poorer communities across the world. At Co-op, it’s easier to do than ever with us. All the bananas, bagged sugar and African rose bunches we sell are Fairtrade, as is all Co-op tea, coffee, hot chocolate, chocolate confectionery and cotton wool. Our selection of Fairtrade wines is the widest available of any grocer. And now, every bit of cocoa we use across our entire own brand range, is sourced under Fairtrade terms.

I hope this gives you some inspiration about how to spread the word and support Fairtrade and the producers and communities the Fairtrade Mark supports

Follow me on Twitter @bradhtweet for more on my travels around the world visiting our Fairtrade partners and more on Fairtrade at Co-op.

Brad Hill
Fairtrade Strategy Manager

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Great stuff, Brad! Keep at it! The Co-op’s continued commitment is hugely important when others, such as Sainsburys and Tesco, are actively trying to undermine Fairtrade.

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  2. Always an inspiration Brad. Thank you for your continued efforts to not only promote fair trade within Co-op but also tackling other businesses who do not trade fairly.

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    • Thanks Collin
      I feel duty bound to stand up for the farmers, so many of whom I have had the privilege of meeting and who always tell me that Fairtrade works for them. In knowing that and seeing the evidence, it’s clear that I personally, we as individuals and as a business as a whole do whatever we can to support the people. After all, it is their coffee, tea, bananas etc that we buy and then sell/ consume!

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  3. Brad, I fully agree with your sentiments and yes, with the divisive actions by Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi et al, we need our Co-op to keep with this fairtrade movement that is recognised worldwide.

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  4. Do you have any educational information for a beaver (youngest member of the scouting groups) so they can learn about fair trade?

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#TheCoopWay, Fairtrade, Food, Food Policy