Co-operative launches first Fairtrade blueberries

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The Co-operative Group is claiming a world first today with the launch of Fairtrade blueberries.

The Fairtrade blueberries come from Blue Mountain Berries, a Fairtrade-certified co-operative in South Africa.

Established in 2006, Blue Mountain Berries is a 70ha southern highbush blueberry project in the George region, and is a joint venture between the Sinksa Trust and the Bessieplaas Werkerstrust; set up to provide benefits, grants and training to the workers on the farm to improve their socio-economic conditions.

Brad Hill, Fairtrade strategy manager at The Co-operative, said: “Having been the first UK supermarket to embrace Fairtrade, we are proud to bring the world’s first Fairtrade fresh blueberries to market and to provide fellow co-operators at Blue Mountain Berries the opportunity to access the ever-growing UK Fairtrade market through our stores.”

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “The Co-operative has produced another Fairtrade first by stocking the world’s first fresh Fairtrade blueberries. These come from South Africa further helping to support Fairtrade farmers and workers in Africa.”

The Co-operative Fairtrade Fresh Blueberries retail at £2.00 for 150g, and are available in 300 stores from Tuesday 23 November 2010.