The Fairtrade mark reaches the smoothies category this month, with the launch of Fruit Hit from the Natural Beverage Company.

Created using Fairtrade fruit sourced from AgroFair, the smoothies are gently pasteurised and bottled in sterile conditions, giving them a six-month shelf life and the option of storage at ambient temperatures.

Available in mango & orange, pineapple & passion fruit and blueberry blend flavours, the brand comes in 330ml clear, 100% recyclable bottles priced at £1.59. Each is claimed to contain the equivalent of two of the recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and veg.

Leonard van Geest, former chairman of Geest and founder of the Natural Beverage Company, said the company had the experience, resources and product to become a significant force in the UK market.

"It combines three things of interest," he said. "A close relationship with Fairtrade growers, product development, and cutting-edge processing technology."