THE BLOG

Banana Split: Fairtrade With Value as Well as Good Values

06/03/2014 12:19 GMT | Updated 05/05/2014 10:59 BST

Some of you may know that it's currently Fairtrade Fortnight, a campaign that celebrates 20 years of Fairtrade, and the focus this year is on bananas. Earlier this week, the Fairtrade Foundation looked specifically at the cost of bananas and the impact that competitive pricing of one of the nation's favourite snacks was having on banana growers in developing countries.

Twenty years isn't too far off how long Sainsbury's has been helping customers get Fairtrade in to their weekly basket. We were the first major retailer to sell Fairtrade with our first Fairtrade product back in 1996. What's more, we were the first major supermarket to switch to selling only Fairtrade bananas in 2007 and as the largest retailer of Fairtrade products in the world - accounting for 20% of all UK Fairtrade sales - we ensure a fair deal for thousands of producers and their communities. Everyone who buys a banana from Sainsbury's knows the grower is getting a fair price, as set by Fairtrade.

However, our commitment to supporting Fairtrade goes beyond just bananas. We have a huge range of 100% Fairtrade products available - including chocolate, tea, ground coffee through to cotton T-shirts, roses and all our pots of tea, lattes and coffees served in our Sainsbury's cafés.

Last year, we launched the UK's first single origin Congo coffee which has helped Fairtrade suppliers access export markets, in turn giving them guaranteed, consistent market opportunities. Our commitment to Fairtrade continues with the launch of Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Kopakama Fairtrade Ground Coffee, in stores from this week. Our commitment to Fairtrade continues with the launch of Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Kopakama Fairtrade Ground Coffee, in stores from this week. It has been produced by women only coffee farmers, who form part of the Kopakama coffee co-operative in Rwanda which was set up to support survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and is the first 'Women's Coffee' to be sold by a UK retailer. The premium we pay on this coffee goes to supporting the near to 250 female members of the Kopakama coffee co-operative in Rwanda. This has resulted in a significant increase in Kopakama's female membership and has given women greater control of finances in the home and within the organisation.

While our customers tell us every day that they want us to continue to do the right thing and treat all our suppliers fairly, we also know that budgets at home are tight. But people who have less don't care less. We are committed to offering our customers a competitive price on a number of items this includes Fairtrade bananas and British milk, and we offer Fairtrade products across all our ranges from Taste the Difference to Basics. All of this is part of helping customers Live Well for Less. During Fairtrade Fortnight 2013, we sold over £19 million of Fairtrade goods and with £1 in every £4 spent on Fairtrade products in the UK spent at a Sainsbury's store, customers can feel reassured that while we always offer our customers good value products, we never forget the values we know are important to them. For us, good value also means good values.