British retailer The Co-Operative has said that all the South African wine stocked in its range is now Fairtrade in origin.
The group stocks 57 Fairtrade wines, of which 45 are sourced from South Africa, and claims to be the world's largest retailer for Fairtrade wine.
It sold around 14.5 million litres of Fairtrade wine in 2020 across its store estate.
Closer Relationships With Suppliers
“At the Co-op we have been involved in the sale of Fairtrade wine right from the beginning and for us the last seventeen years or so has been a journey towards forging closer relationship with our suppliers, providing better quality and value for our customers and - most importantly of all - doing everything we can to support the most important people in the chain: the vineyard workers and their families," commented Edward Robinson, Co-op Fairtrade wine buyer.
"With this in mind we are incredibly proud to be announcing that all our South African wines will now be made according to Fairtrade standards."
To underline its commitment to the South African wine industry, the Co-op has also invested in a start-up winery, Fairroots, in Olifants River, South Africa.
The retailer hopes to source wines from the 34-hectare winery in due course.
The Co-Op has been a long supporter of the Fairtrade movement, having stocked Fairtrade products for 25 years.
Commenting on its commitment to stocking only 100% Fairtrade South African wines, Mike Gidney, CEO at The Fairtrade Foundation noted that the retailer's support "has literally enabled wineries in the region to stay afloat through the pandemic, and this commitment will drive so much more benefits to workers still".
In recent years, the group has also made group-wide efforts to lower its carbon footprint.