Supply Chain News Round-Up (Issue 98)

April 08, 2008

The sweetness of sugar

Tate & Lyle, the food manufacturer, announced on February 23 that it is to move its entire retail cane sugars range to Fairtrade. This will be the largest switch to an ethical labelling scheme ever made by a UK food or drink brand. The company added that the switch will mean that cane farmers will experience a return of at least £2m in Fairtrade premiums in the first year.

The first product to carry the Fairtrade label will be Tate & Lyle’s Granulated White Cane Sugar, which is sourced from Belize. The company has worked with the UK-based Fairtrade Foundation, as well as its international organisation, for two years in order to help cane farmers in Northern Belize meet Fairtrade standards. Tate & Lyle is aiming to have all its retail can sugar products certified Fairtrade by the end of 2009.

Contact Tate & Lyle 020 7626 6526

Cocoa Partnership

A partnership to secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of a million cocoa farmers in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean was announced on January 28. The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership will focus on the following:

> Improving the incomes of cocoa farmer incomes
> Introducing new sources of rural income, such as through microfinance
> Investing in community-led development
> Farmers, governments, NGOs and international agencies will work in partnership to decide how the funding is spent

The initiative will be run jointly by Cadbury Schweppes and the UN Development Programme as well as other organisations.

Contact Cadbury Schweppes 020 7830 5195

Fairtrade sales rise again

The sales of Fairtrade products in the UK reached almost half a billion pounds in 2007. The Fairtrade Foundation, the UK-based campaigning and certification organisation, announced on February 25 estimated retail sales of £493m – an 81% increase on 2006 sales of £273m. Sales have been increasing over 40% year-on-year since 2002.

Fairtrade bananas were the best-selling product with sales of £150m – an increase of 130%. Fairtrade coffee sales rose by 24% to over £117m and Fairtrade tea also rose to 24% to just over £30m. Items made from Fairtrade cotton also increased to approximately 9.5m units.

Contact Fairtrade Foundation 020 7405 5942

Ethical flowers rare

Fairtrade, organic and locally sourced flowers are difficult to find when shopping for flowers online in the UK according to a new report by Ethical Consumer magazine. The report, published in the March/April 2008 edition, states that online flower relay companies, such as Teleflorist, Flowersdirect and Flowergram, do not address air miles, workers’ rights and the use of chemicals in the sale of flowers. Interflora is put forward as the company that is doing the most with regard to these issues. The report ranks the largest florist networks in Britain as well as smaller companies offering ethical flowers online.

Contact Ethical Consumer 0161 226 2929

An ethical Valentine?

Campaigning charity, War on Want, accused supermarkets on February 14 of being “heartless” over the exploitation of overseas flower workers who suffer health problems, job insecurity and low wages as the demand for flowers on Valentines Day increases in the UK.

According to the charity, workers in Kenya and Columbia have seen no improvement in their pay or working conditions – one year after the organisation published a report, Growing Pains, which detailed the problems faced by these groups of people. The new findings are based on a study from War on Want’s partner in Kenya – the Kenya Women Workers’ Organisation – as well as information from its Columbian partner, Cactus. The Kenyan study is due to be published soon.

Contact War on Want 020 7549 0555