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February 29, 2012

UK: Co-op to sell only Fairtrade bananas

UK retailer The Co-operative Group has said it is now selling only Fairtrade bananas.

By Dean Best

UK retailer The Co-operative Group has said it is now selling only Fairtrade bananas.

The Co-op, which was the first retailer to sell Fairtrade bananas, said it was sourcing bananas from countries including Peru, Ecuador and Colombia through a “unique sourcing model” that “demostrated unrivalled commitment” to growers.

The retailer’s announcement, made to coincide with the start of Fairtrade Fortnight in the UK, was issued alongside the launch of plans to work with Oxfam to campaign for increased international investment for growers and co-operatives.

“The switch to 100% Fairtrade bananas in more than 4,000 Co-operative stores in the UK is a demonstration of this commitment to Fairtrade, co-operatives and small-scale farmers,” Co-op chief executive Peter Marks said.

“However, having been instrumental in bringing Fairtrade into the mainstream, we recognise the unique role we can play as a co-operative in going beyond Fairtrade and increasing support for our producers to tackle global poverty.”

Rival UK retailer Sainsbury’s moved its banana supply to 100% Fairtrade in 2007.

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