Drinks retailers support Fairtrade Fortnight

More than 4.5 million bottles of Fairtrade wine were sold in the UK in 2007, a rise of 47 per cent on the previous year, according to figures released for Fairtrade Fortnight.

The event, which kicks off today and runs until March 9 is designed to raise awareness of the ways we can encourage fair working conditions and fair prices for goods produced in developing countries.

Drinks retailers sold 3.5 million litres of Fairtrade wine and 462,000 litres of Fairtrade beer, a rise of 118 per cent, during 2007 but the Fairtrade Foundation says retailers can still do more to help boost sales.

“The fantastic increase in sales of Fairtrade goods in 2007 shows the UK’s public’s huge and growing appetite for Fairtrade,” said Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation.

“But the pace of change must quicken. The scale and level of poverty worldwide demands that we all urgently play our part to scale up Fairtrade. That means more companies offering more Fairtrade products and the public putting those Fairtrade goods in their shopping baskets.”

Many drinks retailers and producers have already pledged their support to Fairtrade fortnight with a number of new products and promotions.

The Co-op is knocking 20 per cent off all Fairtrade products during the fortnight, including its 16-strong Fairtrade wine range, two Fairtrade ales and own-label Fairtrade rum.

Thresher Group is adding three new wines from the Fairhills project to its Origin range as part of the push - a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

Supermarkets are also supporting the campaign in different ways: Sainsbury’s is extending its range of Fairtrade wines to 12, Tesco Wine Club is launching a dedicated web page on Fairhills Fairtrade wines and Asda is offering money off selected Fairtrade wines.

For more information about Fairtrade Fortnight visit www.fairtrade.org.uk