Co-operative Food stores have increased sales of Fairtrade products by 20 per cent.
In support of Fairtrade Fortnight, the Co-operative Group announced that it was the UK’s leading seller of Fairtrade products, selling three times the amount expected for a business of its size.
The significant rise in sales has been helped by the successful switch in 2012 to 100 per cent Fairtrade bananas, which saw sales double and the retailer’s market-leading range of Fairtrade wines, which increased by 40 per cent in the final quarter of 2012.
Earlier this month, the Co-operative Food stores became the first in the UK to switch all own-brand bunches of standard roses and single stem roses to Fairtrade, sourced from Fairtrade-certified growers in Kenya, from suppliers Finlays and JZ Flowers.
The majority of leaves in The Co-operative’s new 99 Tea Gold is supplied by the Fintea co-operative of 15,000 smallholder growers in Kenya. This group of remote and marginalised smallholders was brought together as a co-operative in an ambitious project co-funded by The Co-operative Group, supplier Finlay Beverages, and with support leveraged from the British Government.
Co-operative Food Chief Executive, Steve Murrells, said: “These tough economic times are making people think carefully about how and where they spend their money. Our customers can see the benefits of buying Fairtrade, and the difference it can make in tackling global poverty, but they also know they are purchasing great tasting products.
"Through our customers buying Fairtrade, and our members placing Fairtrade at the top of their social goals agenda, we are continuing to increase the number of initiatives and projects in developing countries.”
To celebrate the decade of 100 per cent own-brand Fairtrade coffee, the Group commissioned the world’s only car fuelled by coffee. The “Bean Machine” broke into the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest car of its kind, reaching speeds of 65.5 miles per hour. It is also embarking on a tour of Co-operative food stores
• To find out where the coffee-fuelled car, is touring, visit www.co-operativefood.co.uk.