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UK sales of Fairtrade wine jump 15% in 2013

Published:  25 February, 2014

Sales of Fairtrade wine in the UK grew 15% in 2013 to just under £28 million, according to new figures from the Fairtrade Foundation.

The latest sales figures show Fairtrade wine sales grew from £23.9 million in 2012 to £27.5 million in 2013, to £27.6 million.

By volume, sales were up 24%, from 8.8 million litres in 2012 to almost 11 million litres last year. Fairtrade wine for the UK market is sourced from South Africa, Argentina and Chile. A Lebanese Fairtrade wine was launched here last year.

The Fairtrade Foundation kicked off Fairtrade Fortnight yesterday, which runs until March 9.

The Co-operative, which sells over half of all Fairtrade wine in the UK, recently told, that it has sold 35 million bottles of Fairtrade wine in the past 10 years, with 2013 its most successful year to date.

Products with the Fairtrade mark mean that buyers have agreed to pay a minimum price, set by the Fairtrade organisation, for their products. It covers the the costs of sustainable production, and acts as a safety net for farmers for those times when world markets fall below sustainable levels. In addition to ensuring sustainable pricing, producers also receive a premium on top of the agreed price, which is aimed at investment in social, environmental or economic development projects. Producers within a farmer's group or workers on a plantation must agree on where the premium is spent.

Projects that have benefited from the premium include South Africa's Du Toitskloof wine co-operative. The Du Toitskloof co-operative, whose wines are sold in The Co-operative here in the UK, supports over 1,200 people, 360 of them children. All employees have their own homes and 85% have running water and electricity, but they still need improvements to their living and working conditions. Money raised from the sales of Fairtrade wine in the UK has gone towards a range of projects in the local community including a new community centre, childcare facilities and an adult educational programme.

If your business is involved in making or selling Fairtrade wines, we would like to hear from you this Fairtrade Fortnight. We are running a dedicated area on our website which is focused on Fairtrade wines. Let us know how Fairtrade wines are performing in the UK, and the impact this is having on Fairtrade projects in their countries of origin. Email Gemma McKenna or tweet us @harperswine.