Stores extend their Fairtrade offering
UK sales of Fairtrade products will soar to a record£300 million this year, with more than 2,500 products now carrying the Fairtrade mark, according to certification body the Fairtrade Foundation.

The announcement comes at the start of Fairtrade Fortnight 2007, a campaign by the Fairtrade Foundation to encourage the purchase of Fairtrade products.

Fairtrade Foundation executive director Harriet Lamb said: 'Fairtrade is beginning to move from being an optional extra to a must-do. Too many companies have yet to wake up to the public's changing expectations. We need people to shout even louder and companies to respond with genuine engagement. Otherwise, millions of farmers will remain consigned to poverty.'

Fairtrade coffee sales rose by 39 per cent, tea by 50 per cent and bananas by 39 per cent last year, with 368 producers now selling to the UK Fairtrade market.

To acknowledge the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, grocers Sainsbury's and Waitrose have switched to 100 per cent Fairtrade bananas. Waitrose is also set to introduce a range of Fairtrade roses and Tesco is extending its range of Fairtrade nuts, while Thresher's is launching a range of Fairtrade wines.

High street chains Next, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer have launched their first Fairtrade cotton clothing lines. Meanwhile, Monsoon is launching a new range of T-shirts using Fairtrade cotton and Top Shop and Boots are also introducing Fairtrade lines.

Thousands of events will take place around the country to promote the two-week campaign, including fashion shows, football matches, concerts and exhibitions. Tastings of Fairtrade products will be held in churches, schools, universities and supermarkets.

Lamb added: 'With everything from vanilla pods to wine, flowers, and cotton wool, there is something for everyone in Fairtrade. Many people still only think of tea and coffee, but there is a huge range of Fairtrade products and rapidly growing choice for shoppers.'