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The Co-op celebrates selling 35m bottles of Fairtrade wine in 10 years

Published:  10 February, 2014

The Co-operative has sold 35 million bottles of Fairtrade wine in the past 10 years, with 2013 its most successful yet.

The retailer which is the UK's largest retailer of Fairtrade wine, sells 52.5% of all Fairtrade wine in the UK.  It has also been recognised as the world's largest retailer of Fairtrade wine by the Fairtrade Foundation - accounting for 28% of global Fairtrade wine sales.

It is celebrating 10 years of Fairtrade wines this year by offering consumers 20% off selected wines in during Fairtrade fortnight from February 24 to March 9, to encourage them to try Fairtrade wines.

Andrew Mann, customer director, The Co-operative Food, said: "We are encouraging shoppers to take the Fairtrade Wine Challenge this year and get behind Fairtrade Fortnight by trying one of our 17 own-brand Fairtrade wines, instead of one of their regular wine purchases or even one of their favourites. 

"To gain a place in our range, the wines, which are selected by our specialist Fairtrade wine buyer, must compete directly in terms of quality with wines which are not Fairtrade certified. The good news is that the quality of Fairtrade wines in general has improved massively over the years, and we are now at the point where they represent excellent quality and value for money in their own right. The added bonus is that they offer a fair price and a social premium to the growers. By encouraging customers to try them at this important time in the Fairtrade calendar, we hope they will see for themselves the quality and appeal of these wines."

The Co-operative introduced the first own-brand Fairtrade Mark wine in 2004, and has since ploughed £2.5 million in social premiums (almost half of which have been provided by The Co-operative as an additional voluntary contribution) back to the growers in the developing countries that produce Fairtrade wine.  Notable projects have included the building of a secondary school in Tilimuqui, Argentina, and a crèche and medical centre at the Du Toitskloof wine co-operative in the Western Cape of South Africa.

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight activity, The Co-operative is taking two representatives from the La Riojana Fairtrade wine project in Tilimuqui, Argentina, on a tour of the UK to highlight the benefits of Fairtrade to growers and communities producers in the developing world.