The world’s biggest Fairtrade wine retailer and the UK’s biggest South African wine brand have joined forces to create a major new Fairtrade wine, supporting vineyard workers on the ground in developing countries.
To further extend its commitment to Fairtrade, Co-op has teamed up with the Kumala wine brand to create an entirely new product which meets the strict Fairtrade standards. In addition to these standards, Fairtrade-certified wine farms need to pass stringent tests safeguarding workers’ rights and living conditions.
Through Fairtrade, growers are guaranteed a fair price for their harvest and an additional premium goes directly back to the workers themselves, for them to decide collectively on how to invest to benefit local communities.
Two years in the making, this collaboration represents a significant meeting of minds between the retailer and the brand, both of which have strong interests in ethical trading. Fairtrade wine sales are buoyant at present and Co-op’s Own Label Fairtrade wine sales grew by more than 20% last year. Both parties are confident regarding the predicted fortunes of this wine and the more it sells the more people benefit from it.
Wine producers across South Africa face economic, social and political challenges and are exposed to an unpredictable future. Co-op continues to work with suppliers to strengthen its Fairtrade offer, encourage consumers to make the Fairtrade choice and in turn maximise the benefits delivered back to producer communities where lives continue to be transformed through empowerment.
Brad Hill, the Co-op’s Fairtrade Strategy Manager, said: “We are proud of the role that we have played in helping to establish the UK as the world’s largest consumer of Fairtrade products and here at the Co-op we have a continued commitment to show our customers, members and producers how important it is to us.
“We have been heavily involved with Fairtrade wine projects for many years through our own brand products such as building a secondary school, a water treatment facility and renovating a major community centre. The proceeds from this wine will tie in with those very neatly.
“We are honoured to be working with suppliers of branded wines, Kumala in this case, to help convert their products to Fairtrade and help with the expansion of Fairtrade wine in the UK.”
Peter Nowek, Accolade Wines said: “Co-op has continued to show its commitment to Fairtrade across a number of key categories and we are delighted to be partnering with them on this project. The money raised through Kumala Fairtrade will be invested back into farming communities in the Western Cape region of South Africa, improving the lives and working conditions for farm workers and their families there.”
The wine launched exclusively in Co-op stores in July, Kumala Fairtrade Pinotage Shiraz is a bright ruby coloured red wine with red berry fruits and a touch of pepper on the nose. It has vibrant fruit flavours with a hint of mocha and a lingering taste and is perfect enjoyed alongside a summer BBQ.