All Posts By

Steve Mauger

News

Shared Interest at work in Peru

Great Masters of the Peruvian HighlandsFounded in 2008, Coopecan is run by six associations and 93 individual alpaqueros. Together they care for almost 3,000 camelids in the highlands of Southern Peru.

Some of the poorest and most remote communities of the upper Andes, rely on alpacas to provide their only chance of income.

These hardy animals, best known for the insulating quality of their wool, are also a vital source of transport for goods such as medicine across the mountainous terrain. Most alpaqueros, live in remote areas high up in the Andes. Many live in clay houses with no electricity or running water. Here, alpacas are a vital part of Peruvian life where more than 50% of the population survive on less than one dollar a day.

The women and children of Andean villages nurture their herds all year round, shearing their coats just once a year. Alpacas are treated like family; without them, these remote Andean communities would face a serious threat to their livelihoods.

Due to the co-operative’s strong commitment to Fairtrade principles, Coopecan approached Shared Interest for support in early 2016, to pay their farmers on time and develop their premises to improve efficiency.

It is this holistic approach to their work that leads Coopecan to support their alpaqeros with medication for themselves and their herd, and also advise on good environmental practices. The result is better feed, healthier alpacas and better quality wool.

“The impact of the Shared Interest loan on the lives of our members, and especially my family, is very important because without it, Coopecan could not buy fibre directly from the producers, and that would cause the intermediaries to pay us lower prices for our fibre. With the loan, Coopecan can help to keep regulated the price of the fibre, of which all benefit from a higher income.” Jorge Basilio, President, Coopecan

Fairtrade Guernsey are supporters of Shared Interest.

News

Waitrose to be 100% Fairtrade own-label tea.

Waitrose has today announced it will be extending its commitment to Fairtrade produce by making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade certified by October 2017.

This will mean all 46 Waitrose tea products will be Fairtrade, which clearly symbolises to customers that the tea farmers are benefiting from good working conditions, a fair deal and funds to spend on their local community.

Farmers can choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium generated – whether on developing their business or on community  projects such as schools, health clinics or leisure facilities.

Forty-three of Waitrose’s own-label tea products are already Fairtrade certified with the exception of its three Earl Grey tea lines, which will complete the conversion in October.

Rupert Thomas, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said:

“We’re proud supporters of the Fairtrade Foundation and have seen first-hand their strong track record of supporting farmers who most need it.

“We’ve found that our customers are extremely loyal towards Fairtrade products and appreciate our long-standing and continued commitment – it highlights the investment in and support for the people, communities and businesses that produce our food.”

Euan Venters, Commercial Director at Fairtrade Foundation, said: “This move means all Waitrose’s own label black and green tea will be 100% Fairtrade. This is fantastic news that will help improve the lives of some of the poorest tea farmers in China, who have previously invested their Fairtrade Premium in schools, sanitation, and tea quality and productivity projects, benefiting farmers and the wider community.

“Congratulations to Waitrose for taking another vital step in making their supply chains sustainable and making a great cup of tea even greater.”

The retailer currently stocks 250 Fairtrade-certified products. 100% of its own-label speciality sugars are certified Fairtrade, along with the majority of its own-label block chocolate, including its Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Bar with Coconut, which was recently awarded the much-coveted Gold award in the 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards.

Waitrose first committed to the Fairtrade Foundation in 2007 and both work collaboratively to share best practice, experiences and a joint ambition to build upon their sustainable supply chain models.

Events

Steering Group Meeting

The next meeting of the Steering Group will be held on Thursday 27 July 2017 @ Capelles Community Centre, St Sampson’s, @ 7.30 p.m.

Meeting is open to anyone interested in Fairtrade who wishes to help.

News Products

Fairtrade Summer Product Review

Remember last year’s summer products review? You told us you loved it so much that we’ve done it again and we’ve gone bigger…

Check out the Fairtrade Foundation blog to see what the team at Fairtrade thought.

If you’ve found other exciting Fairtrade products let us know!

News Products

Nestlé adopts Fairtrade’s Sourcing Program

Nestlé has announced it will change the way it sources Fairtrade ingredients for its KitKat 2 and 4 finger chocolate.

From 5 June 2017, the company will switch from sourcing All That Can Be Fairtrade to sourcing cocoa, sugar and vanilla through the Fairtrade Cocoa, Sugar and Vanilla Programs. As a result, affected KitKat products will begin to carry the FAIRTRADE Program Mark on the back of pack instead of the FAIRTRADE Mark.  This is part of Nestlé’s global strategy to give more prominence on all confectionery packaging to Nestlé’s flagship Cocoa Plan and the change brings KitKat in line with the rest of their chocolate confectionery range; whilst still maintaining their Fairtrade commitment.

Nestlé will continue to buy all the cocoa, sugar and vanilla needed for its KitKat 2 and 4 finger chocolate on Fairtrade terms, and farmers will still follow the Fairtrade Standards and receive the same benefits. As well as the Fairtrade price (or market price if higher) for the commodity, farmer groups receive the Fairtrade premium to invest in long-term community and business projects of their own choice, such as education and healthcare.

The Fairtrade Sourcing Program was designed by Fairtrade to offer businesses another way to purchase Fairtrade cocoa, sugar and vanilla, and in doing so, increasing the opportunities for producers to sell on Fairtrade terms. Many European markets have adopted the Fairtrade Cocoa Program, and this has increased global sales of Fairtrade cocoa from 51,000 metric tonnes in 2012 to just over 100,000 tonnes in 2016. Confectionery brands such as Ferrero and Mars have already committed to the Fairtrade Cocoa Program.

Nestlé’s collaboration with Fairtrade began in 2009, when the UK’s best-selling chocolate wafers, KitKat 4 finger, first received ethical certification through the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK and Ireland. This move was then extended to the 2 finger.

KitKat, made in York, is the UK’s favourite chocolate wafer fingers, with 1bn sold here each year. Launched in 1935 and originally called Chocolate Crisp, it has grown to become Nestlé’s biggest confectionery brand in the UK.  The UK is the biggest market for KitKat globally, twice as big as the next highest, Japan.

News

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs – An explanation

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs

New ways to source Fairtrade cotton, cocoa and sugar.

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs for cotton, cocoa and sugar were introduced by Fairtrade International in January 2014 to boost the volumes of cotton, cocoa and sugar that Fairtrade certified farmers are able to sell on Fairtrade terms so that greater impact can be delivered for small-scale farmers in the developing world, who rely on Fairtrade to earn a fair price and work towards a more sustainable future.

Over the years, with the support of businesses, we have made really significant headway in making trade fairer for farmers and workers in the developing world. But currently just 1.2% of global cocoa sales and less than 1% of global sugar sales are Fairtrade and we’re excited about the potential impact of this innovation.

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs are additional way for businesses to source Fairtrade, and runs in parallel to the existing FAIRTRADE Mark. Under the new scheme, business can source Fairtrade cocoa and sugar as raw commodities, and communicate their commitments through the Fairtrade Sourcing Programs.

FSP explained

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs were launched in some international markets – including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Japan – and have been well received. As a result, global volumes of producers’ sales of Fairtrade cocoa are set to increase by over 20% in 2014, leading to an extra $1.8m in Fairtrade Premium for cocoa farmers.

We are delighted to say that we are now looking to work with UK businesses in key product categories with the explicit focus on securing new and additional commitments for sugar and cocoa farmers, alongside the fantastic range of products certified by the familiar FAIRTRADE Mark.