As part of our ongoing commitment to the Waitrose Way and treating people fairly, Waitrose is proud to support the work of the Fairtrade Foundation; promoting sustainable development in sourcing communities around the world.
We sell a range of own-label and branded Fairtrade products in our stores, all of which have been purchased under Fairtrade terms and promote decent working conditions through positive trading relationships.
What are Fairtrade terms?
For most Fairtrade goods a minimum price is set to cover the cost of sustainable production. This stable income allows farmers to plan for their future.
There is also the Fairtrade premium which is an additional sum of money paid to workers and farmers to be spent on improving social, economic and environmental conditions in the best way possible.
In 2007 we became the first supermarket in the UK to sell Fairtrade bananas exclusively. This was a natural move for us to make, building on the long-term relationships we have with our banana producers and as a result of the move, the number of ethically sourced bananas in the UK increased by 10%.
This had a big impact on our small holder farmers in the Windward Islands, where Waitrose has been trading for over 50 years, as the Fairtrade premium allowed farmers to address the social, economic and environmental challenges they face in their local communities.
Watch Nick Hewer travel with the Fairtrade Foundation to St. Lucia, where he met Waitrose Banana producers
On top of this and as part of our ongoing trading relationship, the Waitrose agronomy group invests in research and development in sourcing countries to better understand the issues surrounding sustainable agriculture and collaborate with our producers to improve technical standards and social wellbeing.
As Amy Lance, Waitrose Banana buyer says ‘Through the Fairtrade system, we can sell top quality bananas to our customers whilst ensuring that our banana growers receive cash from from every sale to invest in social projects within their local communities.’
'Through the Fairtrade system, we can sell top quality bananas to our customers whilst ensuring that our banana growers receive cash from from every sale to invest in social projects within their local communities.’
Amy Lance, Waitrose Banana buyer
Over the years we have been busy converting more lines to Fairtrade (Tea, Coffee, Wine, Sugar, Chocolate), ensuring that we continue to have a positive impact across a range of supply chains in many different countries. In Argentina, for instance, the sales of our Tilimuqui Cabernet Sauvignon have funded the construction of a local secondary school in Tilimuqui village, a small village nestled in the foothills of the Andes mountains.
This school has offered young people such as Maria Elena Morales (pictured) the opportunity specialise in agricultural studies, increasing employment opportunities and social security for her and her family in the future. The local economy has also been strengthened, as people are now choosing to move to this area due to the top class schooling facilities.
In addition to the above, Waitrose works closely with producers around the world to provide technical support ensuring that they are able to sell produce under Fairtrade terms long into the future.