Wick supermarket shows its passion for Fairtrade Fortnight – 'Food production is so linked to the environment now that it’s vital that we do it in a sustainable manner'
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
A Wick supermarket has shown it is passionate about providing shoppers with "high quality and ethically produced products" with its current Fairtrade Fortnight.
Fairtrade is a system of certification that aims to ensure a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient. For farmers and workers, Fairtrade means workers' rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay.
At Wick's Co-op supermarket on Friday afternoon store manager Modris Karklins said: “The Co-op has championed the Fairtrade movement for 26 years now, and to see the range of products expand year after year is really encouraging. As well as staple items like tea, coffee, wine and bananas, we’ve now got Fairtrade oranges, grapes, tomatoes – even cotton wool, flowers and ice cream."
Jamie Robson, Co-op member pioneer, added: “The concept of Fairtrade, that farmers get an acceptable price for their produce is well-known, but it’s become more than that. It strengthens local communities and protects them against problems caused by climate change. It also enables farmers to invest in more climate-friendly farming techniques. Food production is so linked to the environment now that it’s vital that we do it in a sustainable manner.”
After chatting to customers the other day, Jamie said: “It’s great to be able to promote Fairtrade. Our customers are very aware of our support for the movement but if I can make a small difference and help someone discover a delicious, and ethical, chocolate bar then I’m happy."
He went on to list the key moments for the supermarket chain with regard to Fairtrade:
- 1998 – Co-op becomes the first retailer to stock Fairtrade products in all stores.
- 2000 – The first retailer in the world to launch an own-brand Fairtrade product with its milk chocolate.
- 2003 – The first retailer to make all its coffee Fairtrade.
- 2004 – Co-op launches the world’s first ever Fairtrade wine.
- 2007 – The first retailer to sell Fairtrade bananas in all its stores.
- 2008 – The first to switch to Fairtrade cotton wool.
- 2016 – Co-op was the first retailer to make all its own-brand chocolate Easter eggs Fairtrade (excluding Free From).
- 2017 – Co-op was the first retailer to source all the cocoa used as an ingredient on Fairtrade terms.
- 2022 – All of the South African wine stocked in stores, across branded and own-label, is now Fairtrade.