Douwe Egberts has opted for an alternative to Fairtrade, with a coffee that takes "a more sustainable approach to the industry".

It is launching a four-strong ground range called Good Origin - in medium, strong and rich and medium decaffeinated - which supports Utz Kapeh, a certification programme that implements global stan­dards for responsible coffee growing and sourcing.

MD Grant Rosewarne said the company chose Dutch-based Utz Kapeh over more recognised UK programmes, because it provided a more robust ­ethical supply chain.

"We see this as a solution for the whole market," he said. "You can do so much for the small farmers or get a sustainable supply for the whole coffee chain. It doesn't stimulate over­supply, but pays a premium based on the market."

Rosewarne admitted the programme was not well known in the UK, but said consumers would initially buy the product based on the Douwe Egberts name.