By Juliet Mulholland, Customer Service Manager – Logistics

The first time I heard the word ‘Fairtrade’ was in a Co-op. My nan has always been a big supporter of Co-op for its ethical values, it was my local shop where I grew up in Stevenage, and again when I lived in my university’s halls of residence. In 2015, I started working as a team manager in a Co-op store and in learning about our history with Fairtrade, I came to understand more about fair wages and prices for farmers and producers, as well as the amazing support provided to entire communities through the Fairtrade Premium.

I quickly became passionate about what the impact choosing Fairtrade has, so I started work as a Member Pioneer in my local community, spreading the word and showcasing the great range of own-brand and branded products sold at Co-op. This passion has stayed with me in my role as a Colleague Council Member on our National Members’ Council, where we proudly support and champion Co-op’s ongoing commitment to Fairtrade, and in my new day-to-day role in Logistics.

Unfairly, our global workers and producers who provide us with our essential food and drink are some of the most vulnerable to the shocks of extreme weather and disease outbreaks, and are without the capital or resource to protect themselves and their livelihoods. Co-op sources all that it can on Fairtrade terms to help communities in developing countries grow, trade, and invest in a better future for themselves. We’re working with farmers and producers to help them adapt to changing climates and become more resilient, and we’re lobbying the Government to deliver on funding for those worst affected by the climate crisis. Join us in campaigning for a fairer future for our Fairtrade producers by emailing your MP.

A lot of people don’t realise the extent of the Fairtrade goods we sell beyond chocolate, bananas, and coffee. 100% of the roses we source from Africa are Fairtrade and all South African wine we sell is sourced on Fairtrade terms. It’s inspiring to see another side to the supply chain, with brand new products coming into our regional distribution centres from all over the world. These innovative Fairtrade lines make me proud to be a colleague member helping to distribute them.

Fairtrade products and ingredients sourced from around the world can be found down the aisles in your local Co-op. I love our Irresistible chocolate range and i’m proud of the fact that Co-op became the first UK retailer to source all of its cocoa on Fairtrade terms back in 2017, with farmers across West Africa and Central America benefitting from our commitment. Last year, we launched our Irresistible Millionaire’s Bar, which was created with Co-op Members, and it was so exciting to see its colourful packaging arrive in the depot. The cocoa used is grown and picked by a smallholder farming co-op in Peru and then sent to our supplier in Italy, where it’s expertly combined with smooth caramel, crunchy biscuit pieces and a hint of salt to create a creamy, luxury milk chocolate bar.

You can find out more about our work with Fairtrade and the resources we offer here.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Great stuff! I really respect the work we do with Fairtrade.
    Is there an easily explained reason why Fairtrade tea isn’t our default offering in 1 Angel Square canteens? I find it baffling that we don’t stock the canteens with Co-op own-brand products. More so that PG Tips isn’t Fairtrade (although they are plastic free.. Such a conundrum!)

Comments are closed.


Co-operating for a fairer world, Colleague support, Do what matters most, Show you care