Sainsbury’s has claimed it has become the world’s biggest retailer of Fairtrade products after hitting sales of £218m in the past year.

The grocer – which already sells 800 Fairtrade products – will add further ranges this week ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight. It said almost one in every four pounds spent on Fairtrade in the UK is spent at a Sainsbury’s store.

Its bananas, own-brand coffee and tea are all Fairtrade. Sainsbury’s hopes that its Fairtrade products, along with its RSPCA-approved meats, will help create a “point of difference” among the competition.

Sainsbury’s customer director, Gwyn Burr, said: “As the world’s largest Fairtrade retailer, and a supporter since it was launched 15 years ago, we are extremely proud of our progress. Despite the current focus on price and great value, shoppers clearly want to know that producers are getting a fair deal too. We believe that Fairtrade is a great way to provide customers with the best of both worlds - ethically sourced products at affordable prices.”

Burr added: “We sell over 650 million bananas a year, or 1,200 a minute, which means a total Fairtrade premium to banana suppliers of £3.9m ($6.16m) per year benefiting small farmers, farm workers and farming communities. As we add to the number of Fairtrade products we stock, we continue to make an increased impact on suppliers from poorer countries.”

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Sainsbury’s sells more Fairtrade products than any other retailer in the world and this commitment is helping make Fairtrade part of the nation’s everyday shopping habits. They have shown inspirational leadership in the UK and right across Europe with the conversions of their own label bananas, ground and roast coffee, own-label tea, and own label sugar to Fairtrade.”

Clothing is also a major feature of Sainsbury’s Fairtrade offer, and all its mens and womens standard crew neck t-shirts - the best selling lines in the Tu range - have been converted to Fairtrade cotton, selling on average 250 t-shirts an hour. In addition, 90 tonnes of Fairtrade cotton has gone into this year’s Sport Relief t-shirts, socks and wristbands available at Sainsbury’s.