UK Supermarkets form coalition for fairtrade sourcing.

Britain’s leading supermarket chains, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, are forming a unique coalition to source fairtrade bananas, coffee, and cocoa. This initiative, in collaboration with the Fairtrade Foundation, aims to boost the availability of fairtrade products for consumers and support farmers in developing countries.

The coalition, known as the Shared Impact Initiative, is awaiting approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has informally indicated it does not expect to take enforcement action, as the scheme is unlikely to raise consumer prices and may enhance competition by offering a wider range of fair trade products.

A pilot project is currently underway, with the first fairtrade bananas, coffee, and cocoa expected on shelves within months. While Tesco and Sainsbury’s are fully committed, Co-op is initially trialing only cocoa but may extend to coffee and bananas. One unnamed retailer remains cautious, awaiting formal CMA approval.

Fairtrade emphasizes that this coalition will empower supermarkets to address sustainability issues, such as child labor, living wages, and deforestation, more effectively. Long-term contracts will enable farmers in countries like Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Kenya to invest in sustainable practices.

If successful, the initiative may expand to other European markets, and eventually to the United States. This pioneering coalition could set a precedent for global fairtrade sourcing practices.


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