Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 – taking a closer look at seven major products

Posted by James Brindle | 04/03/2019 | Category: Fairtrade

As one of the largest retail supporters of Fairtrade, Central England Co-op stocks a wide range of Fairtrade products, focusing on seven identified core Fairtrade categories - tea, coffee, bananas, wine, sugar, flowers and cocoa. The reason for this focus is to make the biggest impact on people within the supply chain and to compliment the Fairtrade Foundation’s own approach. These account for over 85% of sales of Fairtrade products.

Below we take a closer look at these seven categories and how you can get your hands on them in our stores!


The price of cocoa beans has slumped in recent years despite high demand. Disease and age are damaging cocoa trees and few young people are becoming cocoa farmers because of the poor prospects. Fairtrade helps to make cocoa farming in places like Ivory Coast and Ghana more sustainable by guaranteeing minimum prices and providing a premium to invest in local communities, so farmers can provide a better future for themselves and their families. The Co-operative is the only UK supermarket with an own brand chocolate range which is 100% Fairtrade and it was 25 years ago this year that Central England Co-op Food Stores introduced the first Fairtrade labelled chocolate bar. All Co-op brand Easter Eggs are also Fairtrade.


Buying Fairtrade bananas in the UK means that producers are guaranteed a minimum price, get an extra premium to invest in their community and have improved workplace conditions and protection. The Co-operative was the first retailer to bring Fairtrade bananas to the UK in 2000. In 2012, the Co-operative switched all of its bananas to Fairtrade.


With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level. Fairtrade coffee farmers invest at least 25% of their Fairtrade premium in improving productivity and quality.  All Co-op own brand coffee is Fairtrade.


Fairtrade certified farms must ensure safety and working conditions for their employees. These farms receive a premium of 10% for every stem sold, which allows workers to invest in healthcare, education and other social benefits. 


Fairtrade certification in sugar cane focuses on small-scale producers and there are currently 54,000 sugar cane farmers in 19 countries participating in Fairtrade. The Co-operative was the first retailer to sell Fairtrade sugar – in fact Central England Co-op sells only Fairtrade bagged sugar in its stores.


When you buy Fairtrade tea, farmers and workers can bring greater security, equality and opportunity to the lives of their families and communities. The Co-operative has been producing Fairtrade tea for over 10 years. There are over 400 Fairtrade tea products available in the UK and Central England Co-operative has everything from a refreshing English breakfast tea to decaffeinated versions and infusions such as mint, lemon & ginger and camomile.


Wine producers across South Africa and South America face unique economic, social and political challenges. From the legacy of apartheid in South Africa and low market prices in South America, farmers are exposed to an unpredictable future. More than 50 manufacturers and plantations work with Fairtrade to make quality wine that makes a difference to people’s lives. More than 11 million litres of Fairtrade wine was drunk in the UK in 2013. The Co-operative is by far the largest Fairtrade wine seller in the world.

More details about Fairtrade Fortnight can be found by visiting https://www.centralengland.coop/food/fairtrade-fortnight

About The Author: James Brindle

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