Sainsbury’s Statement

May 30, 2017
a man carrying a basket in a field

Fair Trade Wales has issued the following statement in response to the news Sainsbury’s is replacing the FAIRTRADE Mark with its own ‘fairly traded’ claim on its own label tea.

Fair Trade Wales is the national organisation for Fair Trade education, policy, procurement, support and campaigning in Wales, the world’s first Fair Trade Nation. Fair Trade Wales is very disappointed to hear of Sainsbury’s decision to withdraw their commitment to Fairtrade certification for their own brand Red and Gold Label, Green and Rooibos tea range.

Wales, as the world’s first Fair Trade Nation has support for Fair Trade right across society: from government to schools, businesses to universities. Fair Trade Wales is not solely committed to promoting FAIRTRADE Mark certification, but supports a range of initiatives which adhere to the principles set out in ‘A charter of Fair Trade Principles’.

Julian Rosser, National Coordinator at Fair Trade Wales, says:

“We support innovation, but we are committed to upholding the integrity of the principles of Fair Trade. This proposed move from Sainsbury’s does not uphold the principles of Fair Trade;  shattering the balance between smallholder farmers and powerful retailers.”

Sainsbury’s has been a champion of Fairtrade for years, and has played a positive role in growing the Fair Trade movement in Wales. Sainsbury’s proposal to move away from the FAIRTRADE Mark on it’s own label tea effectively disempowers both farmers and consumers, and undermines all the work Sainsbury’s and its customers have done to date to help make Fairtrade the leading consumer driven movement it is today.

In an open letter to Sainsbury’s, Fairtrade tea producers in Africa have said:

“We told Sainsbury’s loud and clear: your model will bring about disempowerment. We are extremely concerned about the power and control that Sainsbury’s seeks to exert over us.”

Fair Trade Wales stands in solidarity with the 229,000 farmers who are concerned that Sainsbury’s new model will serve to disempower them. Fair Trade Wales urges Sainsbury’s to continue discussions with producers to find a fair and acceptable solution for farmers.

More statements regarding Sainsbury’s announcement can be seen using the links below: