Waitrose strengthens Fairtrade commitment by extending scheme to 100% of its tea

Fairtrade tea farmer in Malawi

Waitrose has today announced it will be extending its commitment to Fairtrade produce by making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade certified by October 2017.

This will mean all 46 Waitrose tea products will be Fairtrade, which clearly symbolises to customers that the tea farmers are benefiting from good working conditions, a fair deal and funds to spend on their local community.

Farmers can choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium generated - whether on developing their business or on community  projects such as schools, health clinics or leisure facilities.

Forty-three of Waitrose’s own-label tea products are already Fairtrade certified with the exception of its three Earl Grey tea lines, which will complete the conversion in October.

Rupert Thomas, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said:

“We’re proud supporters of the Fairtrade Foundation and have seen first-hand their strong track record of supporting farmers who most need it.

“We’ve found that our customers are extremely loyal towards Fairtrade products and appreciate our long-standing and continued commitment - it highlights the investment in and support for the people, communities and businesses that produce our food.”

Euan Venters, Commercial Director at Fairtrade Foundation, said: “This move means all Waitrose’s own label black and green tea will be 100% Fairtrade. This is fantastic news that will help improve the lives of some of the poorest tea farmers in China, who have previously invested their Fairtrade Premium in schools, sanitation, and tea quality and productivity projects, benefiting farmers and the wider community.  

“Congratulations to Waitrose for taking another vital step in making their supply chains sustainable and making a great cup of tea even greater.”

The retailer currently stocks 250 Fairtrade-certified products. 100% of its own-label speciality sugars are certified Fairtrade, along with the majority of its own-label block chocolate, including its Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Bar with Coconut, which was recently awarded the much-coveted Gold award in the 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards.

Waitrose first committed to the Fairtrade Foundation in 2007 and both work collaboratively to share best practice, experiences and a joint ambition to build upon their sustainable supply chain models.