The industry is mourning the loss of John Bowes, a Fairtrade and The Co-op Group veteran, who passed away last weekend while undergoing treatment for a heart condition.

Bowes, 59, worked at The Co-operative Group for more than 30 years and was influential in developing the society's responsible retailing strategy. He left The Co-op Group in 2004 to concentrate on Fairtrade.

"John was a friend and colleague with a tremendous intellect and exceptional communications skills," said Malcolm Hepworth, former CEO of The Co-op's food business.