Co-operative encourages shoppers to switch to Fairtrade with food offers

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The Co-operative Food claims it is putting its weight behind Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 (27 February-11 March 2012), with a host of offers on Fairtrade food and wine.

The retailer is encouraging its customers to “take a step for Fairtrade” by offering 20% off selected Fairtrade food products, as well as deals on Fairtrade wines.

Take a Step for Fairtrade is the Fairtrade Foundation’s theme for 2012 and the Foundation will be urging people to “take a step” by switching a product in their shopping basket to Fairtrade.

The Co-operative claims to have paved the way in Fairtrade development since its inception, and this year celebrates a milestone as it is 10 years since the retailer’s entire chocolate bar range was converted to Fairtrade.

Back in 1992, The Co-operative became the first major retailer to stock Cafédirect coffee, which became one of the first Faitrade Mark products in 1994. In 1999, The Co-operative widened the availability of Fairtrade Mark products, by stocking them in all stores nationwide, even in its smallest community stores.

Since then, The Co-operative claims to have led the way for Fairtrade, introducing the UK’s first Fairtrade bananas; and many other Fairtrade firsts, including mangoes, pineapples, grapefruits and fresh blueberries. The Co-operative was the first major supermarket to convert its own-brand ranges of coffee and tea to 100% Fairtrade. It claims to stock the only Fairtrade own-brand sugar and cotton wool, and to be the only retailer to have converted its entire range of block chocolate to Fairtrade.

Brad Hill, Fairtrade development manager for The Co-operative, said: “The Co-operative is widely recognised as the supermarket that has taken more steps for Fairtrade than any other. We hope our ethically-minded customers will take advantage of the great deals on offer for Fairtrade Fortnight, and take a step for Fairtrade with us for the 1.5m Fairtrade growers and workers who provide the products.”