consumer policy development manager, Food Retail, The Co-operative Group
The Co-operative Group continues to lead the mainstreaming of fair trade in the grocery sector and our unique co-operative difference ensures that the fair trade message continues to be delivered into communities nationwide.
Importantly, the Co-operative Group ensures that all its 3,000 stores have a meaningful fair trade product range offer, unlike some supermarkets that only stock fair trade products in larger stores.
This year we will continue to pioneer and set the pace for supermarkets to follow. Product categories such as fruits, nuts and herbs are under review.
Waitrose sells a wide range of products under the Fairtrade logo. This includes a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, teas, coffees, chocolate, rice, sugar and wine. Our Fairtrade lines are heavily promoted through our in-house publications such as Waitrose Seasons, Waitrose New, Waitrose recipe cards, Waitrose Food Illustrated and Waitrose.com. We are committed to selling these lines and feel all our relationships with suppliers are based on the principles of trading fairly.
We have one of the best reputations for dealing with our suppliers and mutual trust is the cornerstone of these relationships.
Sales of Fairtrade products in our supermarkets have been very strong over the past year and ethical products remain high on our agenda. Consumers are increasingly looking for a wider choice of products.
We expect this trend to continue, especially as we are looking at developing new own label Fairtrade products - one of which we will be launching during our support of Fairtrade Fortnight next month.
The popularity of Fairtrade is wide ranging and sales are strong across the country in towns as diverse as Perth, Taunton and Sheffield.