Drinks retailers urged to stock Fairtrade

26 February, 2008

Fairtrade wines could more than double their share of the UK wine market in the next two years, according to wine importer Ehrmanns.

Speaking to OLN during Fairtrade Fortnight, Ehrmanns marketing director, Keith Lay said the potential for the area to grow was huge, but that more retailers needed to get behind the movement and stock Fairtrade wine for it to do so.

He said: "Fairtrade wine currently has a 1 per cent share of the UK market, but I can see it being 2 or 3 per cent of the wine market in the next couple of years.

"There are more wineries coming on as Fairtrade and that's happening all the time, so there is much more choice. Of course, we are limited by a certain extent by the countries that can be involved, but in South Africa for example there are increasingly more Fairtrade wineries."

According to figures released by the Fairtrade Foundation yesterday, wine sales rose 47 per cent to more than 3.5 million litres last year, making retailers 19 million.

Lay, whose Fairtrade wine imports include those from the Los Robles co-operative in Chile and Thandi in South Africa, said retailers who were not yet stocking Fairtrade wines were "missing an opportunity."

"Particularly at a time like this when there is so much media coverage," he said.

"Fairtrade is good for business. The level of awareness among consumers is very high and the brand is strong, so retailers should be stocking Fairtrade wines."

The Fairtrade mark certifies that the product it appears on has been sourced from producers in developing countries who are receiving a fair deal for their work.

Fairtrade Fortnight runs until March 9. For more information visit www.fairtrade.org.uk

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