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Thursday, September 29, 2016
CAFOD welcomes 'progressive move' by supermarket chain
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¬†The Co-op has become the first supermarket chain in the UK to use only fair-traded coffee in its own-label products. Aid agency CAFOD has welcomed the pioneering move and said it hopes other stores will take up the initiative. The retailer said it expects the decision will boost the UK fair-trade coffee market by 15 per cent or about £4million a year, and put around £750,000 a year in the pockets of the growers. Farmers selling their crop under the fair-trade system get up to three times the current world price. It guarantees producers a price which covers the cost of production and a basic living wage, plus a "social premium" to help the local community. To counter the perception fair-trade products are more expensive than conventional ones, Co-op fair-trade Rich Roast instant coffee will sell for £1.39 a jar compared to £1.63 for the equivalent from Nescafe. Currently global coffee prices are at a one hundred year low in real terms - causing great hardship to around 25 million small growers. Adrian Lovett, campaign director with Oxfam said: "What the Co-op has done is fantastic. If the big coffee companies showed this kind of commitment then millions of growers across the world would be able to feed their families and sent their children to school." The Co-op is sourcing its fair-trade coffee from five farmer co-operatives, four in Central and South America and one in Tanzania. Malcolm Hepworth, chief operating officer at the Co-op, said: "The coffee crisis is complex, and fair-trade is part of the solution. But it's the simplest way we can make a real and immediate difference. The Co-op has added its support to campaigners and called on major suppliers of coffee to launch at least one fair-trade product." Katherine Astill, Private Sector Policy Analyst with CAFOD, told ICN: "CAFOD warmly welcomes this progressive move by the Co-op. By using only fair trade coffee in their own brands, the Co-op is taking an important step towards mainstreaming fair trade and enabling poor farmers to make a living out of growing coffee. We hope that other supermarkets will follow the co-op's example."
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