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The Co-operative looks to convert mainstream wine brands to Fairtrade

Published:  04 March, 2014

The Co-operative is looking to recruit more mainstream wine brands into Fairtrade as it prepares to relaunch its range.

The retailer is planning a revamp of its Fairtrade range later this year, with a new look and feel to its labels, as well as potentially some new sources.

It will alter the line-up and look back at the last 10 years in Fairtrade wine at Co-op. Fairtrade wine buyer Edward Robinson said: "The plan is to bolster the range and we're in talks with a couple of brands. We're looking to convert some mainstream brands into Fairtrade. We have brought in some minor products that are branded but we're looking to bring some major brands on-side." Robinson said what's happened in the chocolate category was "the ideal scenario".

 "There's a lot on the market which could be accredited which isn't. I buy a Fairtrade KitKat because it's a KitKat, the same will become true for wine as more vineyards become accredited."

Robinson said the Fairtrade mark represents a 'virtous choice' for consumers, as sales have grown  unhindered by the economic downturn every year since their launch in 2001.

"What's interesting for me is Fairtrade's growth even in the gloomy economic climate. It's been astounding. Faritrade gives consumers a very simple reason to purchase. The mark functions as an umbrella for the virtuous choice in the wine aisle."

"If they're feeling the pinch and not donating to charity, they feel very comfortable in spending £5 on a bottle of Fairtrade wine. We haven't seen Fairtrade suffer as other categories have."

The Co-operative is offering 20% off its Fairtrade range until March 9. The wines start at £4.99 and go right up to £8.99 for a 75cl bottle. Fairtrade wine represents the retailer's sixth or seveth biggest wine category. 

For more on Co-op's Fairtrade wine strategy, read our Q&A with Edward Robinson later this week.