Sainsbury's - don't betray farmers over Fairtrade tea

Sainsbury's - don't betray farmers over Fairtrade tea

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Sainsbury’s is dropping Fairtrade labelling from its tea in order to use its own system, which could see farmers short-changed.

When we enjoy a Fairtrade cuppa, we know that people who farm tea in Malawi, Kenya and Rwanda are getting a fair deal for their hard work -- and control over funds for vital community services. But this move from Sainsbury’s will change all that -- and could mean the end of Fairtrade altogether.

Instead of rigorous standards and independent audits, Sainsbury’s will set its own criteria - leaving both shoppers and farmers in the dark over what the new labelling really means.

For now, Sainsbury’s is piloting this for its tea. But if we don’t stop it, the same could happen to coffee, bananas and chocolate too.

Tell Sainsbury’s to stick to its agreement with farmers -- and keep Fairtrade labelling.

The Fairtrade program has been running for over 20 years, helping to resist exploitation of farmers from major corporations.

As well as stringent standards and minimum pricing, Fairtrade also guarantees a ‘social premium’ which is directly controlled by local farmers to spend on vital services such as healthcare, education and pensions.

But now, that premium will be controlled by Sainsbury’s instead - taking away rights from communities who depend on the money.

Sainsbury’s has refused to consult with the people who farm its tea on the issue, and fears are growing that the new policy could quickly expand into other products like bananas, sugar and chocolate.

This could well mean the end of Fairtrade altogether -- with corporations running their own systems instead of being subject to independent auditors. This will mean lower standards and fewer rights for the people who farm our food and drinks around the world.

But we have the power to stop it. Together, we’ve forced Sainsbury’s to make changes before. When tens of thousands of SumOfUs members took action, it dropped Krill oil -- a supplement made from the cornerstone of the Antarctic food chain that marine creature like whales rely on for survival -- from its shelves.

Let’s make a stand and tell Sainsbury’s that we won’t stand for this betrayal -- and to keep the Fairtrade system in place. 

Sainsbury’s -- stand by the agreement with farmers and keep Fairtrade.

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