Waitrose strengthens Fairtrade commitment by extending scheme to 100% of its tea
Waitrose has today announced it will be extending its commitment to Fairtrade produce by making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade certified by October 2017.
This will mean all 46 Waitrose tea products will be Fairtrade, which clearly symbolises to customers that the tea farmers are benefiting from good working conditions, a fair deal and funds to spend on their local community. Farmers can choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium generated - whether on developing their business or on community projects such as schools, health clinics or leisure facilities.
Forty-three of Waitrose's own-label tea products are already Fairtrade certified with the exception of its three Earl Grey tea lines, which will complete the conversion in October.
Rupert Thomas, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said: 'We're proud supporters of the Fairtrade Foundation and have seen first-hand their strong track record of supporting farmers who most need it.
'We've found that our customers are extremely loyal towards Fairtrade products and appreciate our long-standing and continued commitment - it highlights the investment in and support for the people, communities and businesses that produce our food.'
Emma Mullins, Tea Supply Chain Manager at Fairtrade Foundation, said: 'This move means all Waitrose's own label black and green tea will be 100% Fairtrade. This is fantastic news that will help improve the lives of some of the poorest tea farmers in China, who have previously invested their Fairtrade Premium in schools, sanitation, and tea quality and productivity projects, benefiting farmers and the wider community.
'Congratulations to Waitrose for taking another vital step in making their supply chains sustainable and making a great cup of tea even greater.'
The retailer currently stocks 250 Fairtrade-certified products. 100% of its own-label speciality sugars are certified Fairtrade, along with the majority of its own-label block chocolate, including its Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Bar with Coconut, which was recently awarded the much-coveted Gold award in the 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards. Waitrose was also the first retailer to switch 100% of its bananas to Fairtrade in 2007.
Waitrose first committed to the Fairtrade Foundation in 2007 and both work collaboratively to share best practice, experiences and a joint ambition to build upon their sustainable supply chain models.
Notes to editors
Waitrose - winner of the Best Supermarket¹ and Best Food and Grocery Retailer² awards - currently has 354 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 64 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, waitrosecellar.com for wine, and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kitchen gadgets.
¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards
For more information, please contact:
Press Officer, Corporate, Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 826774