Last year, Sainsbury’s decided to remove the Fairtrade Mark from some of their most popular own-brand teas, replacing it with their own ‘Fairly Traded’ label — a new pilot scheme run by Sainsbury’s itself.
This sets a very dangerous precedent. The new scheme is untested, unverified, and tea producers worldwide are concerned they will be disempowered as a result.
Farmers will no longer be able to decide where they invest their cash bonus, and will instead have to apply to a London-based advisory board in order to receive it — shifting power away from individual farmers, back to big business.
The label is also likely to mislead customers. ‘Fairly Traded’ sounds a lot like Fairtrade, but it does not come with the same independent assurance that farmers are getting the best deal.
Despite 150,000 petition signatures from concerned customers and Global Citizens alike, Sainsbury’s are still refusing to take our concerns seriously. It’s time to ramp up the pressure.
Sainsbury’s will only revoke their decision if enough of their customers make it clear that they will accept nothing less than Fairtrade tea. Add your name to our petition, and then send a message to your local Sainsbury's store, to CEO Mike Coupe, and to the customer services lineto express your concerns. Let's do all we can to protect Fairtrade farmers.