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Sainsbury’s switches to Fairtrade tea and coffee

Own-label tea to switch first, coffee next year


Sainsbury’s will convert its entire range of own-brand tea and ground coffee to Fairtrade over the next three years, it has announced.

The move will treble the volume of Fairtrade tea sold in the UK, the supermarket chain said.

Sainsbury‘s Red Label tea will be the first to switch, with the conversion due to be completed by early next year. This will be followed by the chain’s entire range of roast and ground coffee.

Fairtrade premiums

The switch to Fairtrade has taken more than a year to plan, with Sainsbury‘s staff working with both existing and new suppliers.

Countries supplying the tea and coffee will collectively get around £2 million extra per year via the Fairtrade premiums, according to the chain.

Sainsbury‘s chief executive, Justin King, said: ‘This is a significant move for Sainsbury‘s because of the scale of tea and coffee we sell, but also because of our heritage in selling Red Label tea for over a century.

‘Our customers drink nearly three billion cups of tea and ground coffee every year and this means a much larger number of producers in developing countries, from tea-producing Kenya and Malawi, to coffee growers in South America, will benefit from the Fairtrade Mark.’

Fairtrade bananas

The move follows Sainsbury‘s pledge to sell only Fairtrade bananas.

Fairtrade Foundation executive director Harriet Lamb said: ‘Sainsbury‘s ambitious move will significantly lift sales of Fairtrade tea, helping turn Fairtrade tea into the new British cuppa, forming a special part of all our everyday lives.’

Suppliers of Fairtrade receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects.

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