Fairtrade fruit gets wider distribution

Related tags Fairtrade Fair trade Banana

Fairtrade mangoes from Burkina Faso, Mexico and Equador have been
given a major distribution boost in the UK this week, with the
announcement that the two leading supermarket groups, Tesco and
Sainsbury's, are to add them to their portfolio.

The market for Fairtrade mangoes in the UK has expanded rapidly this week with the announcement that the country's two largest supermarket groups, Tesco and Sainsbury's, are to add the fruit to their produce portfolio.

The two companies join fellow UK retailers Co-op and Waitrose in stocking Fairtrade mangoes in stores across the country.

The fruit, which is supplied by Fairtrade company AgroFair, is branded Oké and carries the Fairtrade Mark awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation and which guarantees a better deal for marginalised producers in developing countries.

Duncan White, director of AgroFair UK, said: "AgroFair UK is leading the way in beginning a transformation of the fresh fruit sections of our supermarkets. We want to see the Fairtrade Mark on even more shelves across the country."

AgroFair is owned by the fruit growers themselves, who receive all profits not reinvested in the company and who are represented on the board. It claims to be the only UK fruit company which deals solely in Fairtrade fruit.

The Fairtrade mangoes currently available in the UK are from Burkina Faso. They are organic as well as Fairtrade and are also being sold to the organic sector. The varieties are Amelie, Kent and Keitt.

When the Burkina Faso season ends in mid July, a new season of Fairtrade mangoes from Mexico will be available in the UK until mid September, offering Kent, Keitt and Tommy Atkins varieties. AgroFair is working towards a year-round supply of Fairtrade mangoes in the UK and now has three sources which cover nearly half the year: the third source is Ecuadorian.

Fairtrade is the system which ensures that marginalised farmers in the third world receive a fair return for their labours. The Fairtrade premium, a sum included in the price of each Fairtrade item bought, is used by the farmers for benefits such as health care, clean water supplies and improved sanitation.

"Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and farmers there are queuing up to join the Fairtrade system,"​ said White. "Whole communities benefit when they do and are able to receive a fair price for what they grow. By buying Fairtrade mangoes in the UK, we can help build a better future for more and more farmers and their families on the other side of the world."

Mangoes were the second Fairtrade fresh fruit available anywhere in the world after bananas, and both were first brought to the UK by AgroFair UK - bananas in 2000, mangoes in 2001. As we reported​ earlier in the year, AgroFair also supplies the Co-op with the world's first Fairtrade pineapples, and the company is hoping to extend distribution to other chains later this year.

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