The Co-operative has been the UK ’s biggest supermarket supporter of Fairtrade since 1992. The Groups sells Fairtrade products in more outlets than any other retailer and also provides the widest range of Fairtrade products, with around 150 own-brand products and over 50 branded Fairtrade products.
The Co-op’s pioneering stance on ethical sourcing has seen it achieve a number of Fairtrade first’s including:
- First to convert its entire block chocolate range to Fairtrade (2002)
- First to convert its own-brand coffee range to Fairtrade (2003)
- First supermarket to sell a Fairtrade bag (2007)
- First to have Fairtrade bananas in every store (2007)
- First UK retailer to convert its entire own-brand hot beverage range to Fairtrade (2008)
In 2008, the Co-op launched its Food Ethical Policy following the feedback gained from its consumer poll on food ethics. Just over a quarter (27%) of the 100,000 Co-op members polled identified Ethical Trading as the number one priority for the group.