Sainsbury's and Fairtrade: December 2017 Update

Sainsbury's and Fairtrade: December 2017 Update

13 December 2017

Following the news that Sainsbury's had decided to drop the Fairtrade label for tea products, in favour of its own in-house model, to be branded 'Fairly Traded',  I had a meeting with Sainsbury's in Brussels to discuss this matter. Many constituents had contacted me with concerns about this. Sainsbury's are well-known in the UK for leading on ethical and sustainable sourcing, which is why this decision to move away from Fairtrade was disappointing. The meeting helped clarify the reasons behind Sainsbury's' decision and I am pleased that they have agreed to set up independent groups soon to monitor the scheme. But we need to be vigilant. It has taken years to build up confidence in the Fair Trade label, a label which takes into account social as well as environmental concerns.  

Products traded as “fairly traded” could cause confusion.  We were reassured that Sainsbury’s does not want to undermine Fairtrade and remains committed to fair and sustainable supply chains and that this is only a pilot project whose results will be analysed and that other Fairtrade products will remain on the shelves.  So we will be watching carefully and working with the Fairtrade movement and Sainsbury’s to make sure that guarantee is kept - let me know what you see when you’re out shopping.   

Photo credit: Smile!!/Stock/Getty Images

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