Nestlé is making its first move into the growing Fairtrade food and drink market with the launch of a coffee brand called Partners’ Blend.
The product, which is going into all the major multiples and is accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation, represents the first mainstream Fairtrade coffee to be produced by one of the handful of coffee companies that control most of the UK market.
A £1m consumer marketing campaign will support the launch of Partners’ Blend, which offers a guaranteed income and better living standards to up to 3,500 farmers in El Salvador and Ethiopia, said Fiona Kendrick, MD of Nestlé Beverages.
“Fairtrade is a growing market and our research shows there is an opportunity for us to offer a very good quality product,” she said. “It is targeted at mainstream consumers who are not necessarily regular Fairtrade purchasers.”
Harrriet Lamb, director of the Fairtrade Foundation, denied that taking Fairtrade mainstream would undermine the movement. She said: “This is a turning point for us and for the coffee growers.”