Fairtrade wine retailers and producers are aiming to boost the sector's profile to the same level as other Fairtrade products.

They gathered at the inaugural Annual Fairtrade Wine Tasting event, organised

by the Fairtrade Wine Committee - an association of key producers formed earlier this year - at Vinopolis in London last week to reveal their plans.

"People are aware of Fairtrade coffee, chocolate and bananas and we decided it was time to raise the profile of Fairtrade wine," said Joy Rushton of Ehrmanns.

The producer displayed its South African Stellar Organics range at the show, variants of which are stocked by Sainsbury's, Asda and Booker, together with its Chilean Los Robles brand. It also exhibited wines from its South African Thandi collection, which, in 2003, was the first winery to be Fairtrade certified.

The Green Ridge Wine Company showed its new Equality Fairtrade Chilean range by Las Lomas, priced at £5.99. "It gives people quality as well as assurance that in buying these wines they are creating a better future for the winegrowing community in Cauquenes," said MD Nicholas Ingham.

The Co-op, which has long supported Fairtrade wine, is developing its selection with new own label and branded variants. Its latest range of four is from Argentina, priced between £3.99 and £4.99.

Other retailers are interested in stocking Fairtrade wines. M&S will source a Fairtrade range next year.

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