The Co-op has joined forces with South African wine brand Kumala to create a new Fairtrade wine.

This collaboration, which has been two years in the making, represents a “significant meeting of minds” between the retailer and the brand, both of which have strong interests in ethical trading.

Fairtrade wines are buoyant at present, and the Co-op said its own-label Fairtrade wine sales grew by more than 20% last year.

The Co-op said it continues to work with suppliers to strengthen its Fairtrade offer, encourage consumers to make the Fairtrade choice and in turn maximise the benefits delivered back to producer communities where lives continue to be transformed through empowerment. It noted that wine producers across South Africa face economic , social and political challenges and are exposed to an unpredictable future.

Brad Hill, the Co-op’s Fairtrade strategy manager, said: “We are proud of the role that we have played in helping to establish the UK as the world’s largest consumer of Fairtrade products and here at the Co-op we have a continued commitment to show our customers, members and producers how important it is to us.

“We have been heavily involved with Fairtrade wine projects for many years through our own brand products such as building a secondary school, a water treatment facility and renovating a major community centre. The proceeds from this wine will tie in with those very neatly.

“We are honoured to be working with suppliers of branded wines, Kumala in this case, to help convert their products to Fairtrade and help with the expansion of Fairtrade wine in the UK.”

{eter Nowak, Accolade Wines, said: “Co-op has continued to show its commitment to Fairtrade across a number of key categories and we are delighted to be partnering with them on this project. The monty raised through Kumala Fairtrade will be invested back into farming communities in the Western Cape region of South Africa, improving the lives and working conditions for farm workers and their families there.”

Launching exclusively in the Co-op stores this month, Kumala Fairtrade Pinotage Shiraz (rsp: £6.99) is a bright ruby coloured red wine with red berry fruits and a touch of pepper on the nose.