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I’m very pleased to announce that all the bananas, tea and coffee used as ingredients in Co-op products will now benefit Fairtrade producers and their communities.
Our Bananas, Co-op tea bags and our instant and ground coffee were already Fairtrade, but now if we use them as an ingredient in another product, we’ll make sure they’re benefitting Fairtrade producers and their communities too. Since we announced all cocoa used in Co-op products would be Fairtrade back in February last year the amount of Fairtrade cocoa we buy has increased by 500%, so today’s announcement represents a radical step forward for Fairtrade farmers and producers.
This also means more Co-op Members and shoppers can choose Co-op Fairtrade when in our stores, supporting communities locally in the UK through our Local Community Fund and around the world through Fairtrade.
We’re building on success too, with Fairtrade sales in Co-op stores up 14% in 2017 and 20% in 2016. Both figures are more than double the average market growth for Fairtrade in the UK.
Why our Co-op is backing Fairtrade
We know the Fairtrade mark isn’t the only ethical certification scheme out there. But, we also know that the more fairly traded certification schemes there are, the more confusing it is to shop ethically.
We’ve published the Co-op Fairtrade Shopper Report which looks at how shoppers choose to shop ethically and how they identify ethical products. You can read all the results in the report, but some of the key findings include:
- 73% of shoppers say they completely or mostly understand Fairtrade*
- the average Fairtrade shopper has been buying Fairtrade for more than five years
- 87% would not trust companies’ own ethical schemes if they lacked independent auditing and verification
- 33% of those not buying Fairtrade would do so, if they were more aware of the benefits
The most important reason Co-op backs Fairtrade though, is farmers and producers continue to tell us that Fairtrade is the most effective certification for them. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme to empower farmers and producers to make decisions for themselves about how to invest in their communities.
Fairtrade supports communities around the world
Having spent many years working in fair trade for Traidcraft and seeing first-hand the benefits fair trading brings to farmers and their communities around the world, I’m very proud that our Co-op has championed the Fairtrade mark since its inception.
The benefits to farmers and producers come not just from receiving a better price and a premium to spend on community projects, but from developing a long-term relationship with Co-op, the sharing of skills and insights and the security of a trading partnership.
Member Nominated Director
Read more about Fairtrade at our Co-op;
- All our Co-op African roses are now Fairtrade
- What is Fairtrade and how does it work?
- Free Co-op Fairtrade resources
- Fairtrade needs your support
- All cocoa in Co-op own brand products is Fairtrade