Stocking up for Fairtrade

Drinks shops are being urged to put ethical drinks in the spotlight for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Kicking off on Feb 24 and running until March 9, the annual campaign is designed to raise awareness of the 3,000 items currently certified by the Fairtrade Foundation.

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

All the wines come from The Fairhills project - a joint venture between Origin Wines and South African winery Du Toitskloof, which employs more than 800 people and runs 20 projects including a day care centre,

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The Co-op will be offering 20 per cent off all its Fairtrade products

includ ing its 16-strong Fairtrade wine range and two Fairtrade ales. Included in the promotion are the UK's first own-label Fairtrade reserve quality wines - a Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa and an organic Malbec from Argentina.

Sainsbury's will be extending its range of Fairtrade wines to 12, including three new own-label wines and a South African Fairtrade Organic Cabernet Sauvignon in its SO organic range.

Tesco Wine Club is launching a dedicated page on Fairhills Fairtrade wines on their website for the fortnight.

The Fairtrade Foundation will launch the fortnight on Feb 24 at London's South Bank, giving consumers the opportunity to meet the farmers and workers behind the products. It will also visit eight more cities in an open-top bus.

Fairtrade Foundation executive director Harriet Lamb said: "Millions of farmers and workers are walking the delicate tightrope of international trade. When market prices wobble they risk falling into devastating poverty. Fairtrade offers them stability, so they have the confidence to look ahead and move towards a better future."