Another response this time from Tesco on the issue of making own brand coffee fair trade:
Thank you for your email, addressed to Sir Terry Leahy, asking for all Tesco own brand coffee to be certified as Fairtrade. Sir Terry has asked me to reply on his behalf.
I would like to assure you that Fairtrade is strongly supported by Tesco. Fairtrade guarantees that farmers in the developing world are paid a fair price. This price covers the cost of production, plus an extra premium that's invested in the local community. This could be spent on better healthcare, sanitation, education or housing. In the commonwealth of Dominica, Tesco Fairtrade banana sales has helped fund the building of a community centre, the installation of streetlights and the renovation of farm roads.
We work closely with the Fairtrade Foundation to try and bring new products to our customers. For example, in June 2005, Tesco was the first UK retailer to sell Fairtrade basmati rice. The premiums received from the sales of this rice were invested in improving farmers' agricultural practices, establishing financing facilities, improving education opportunities and improving sanitation in the farmers' villages.
We currently stock 140 Fairtrade lines, 45 of which are Tesco own-brand products, including roses, mangoes, avocados and cookies, all subject to seasonal availability.
We are also pleased to announce that from November this year Tesco is creating a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance on our Tesco label Roast and Ground Coffee. This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the environment and is a demonstration of the work we are doing to support sustainable farming practises around the world. For more information about the Rainforest Alliance, please visit www.rainforest-alliance.org. We continue to offer Fairtrade and other ethically labelled coffee from a broad range that gives customers the opportunity to choose for themselves.
If you would like some more information on our Fairtrade products, please visit our website www.tesco.com/cr
Thank you for your comments. I hope that the above information is helpful.
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] quoting TES5438483X.
Tesco Customer Service
This is the email I sent:
Dear Terry Leahy
I applaud the efforts you have made in recent years to stock Fairtrade across a range of products. As the largest retailer in the UK, it is vital that you continue to show a serious and long term commitment to Fairtrade. Therefore we urge you to switch all of Tesco's own brand coffee to coffee that is certified with the Fairtrade Mark.
Fairtrade enables disadvantaged farmers in poor communities to receive a fair price for the goods they produce, so the simple step of switching Tesco coffee to Fairtrade would lift thousands out of poverty.
I hope that you'll be willing to demonstrate your stated commitment to Fairtrade by taking such a step.
I look forward to seeing Tesco take more action on this