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To be horrified that Sainsbury's is opting out of Fairtrade

9 replies

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog · 28/06/2017 18:56

Guardian article

In a nutshell, Sainsbury's is going to replace its Fairtrade own brands (where Fairtrade is a system agreed between the big supermarkets/retailers and farmers and producers in developing countries, with agreed standards and clearly transparent practices) with a weaselly "I can't believe it's not butter" alternative of "Fairly-traded" which will consist of rules it (the big supermarket) draws up unilaterally and polices (or possibly doesn't police at all, who's to know) itself.

Can we make enough fuss on mumsnet to get them to back down, I wonder? A hell of a lot of us must do our weekly shop at Sainsbury's.

OP posts:

Changebagsandgladrags · 28/06/2017 18:58

Yes I read this the other day. It's shocking.


user1498665532 · 28/06/2017 18:59

YABU, It costs a lot to get the fairtrade stamp they can get food from the same place without the stamp and sell it cheaper under there own ethical standards and not have to pay stupid money for a stamp.


annandale · 28/06/2017 19:02

The only fuss they will listen to is people increasing Fairtrade purchases and reducing non-Fairtrade purchases.

The fact is that Sainsbury's are losing market share to Aldi and Lidl and only a small proportion of people CAN or will spend more for Fairtrade. I totally agree with you that one of the reasons for that is successful muddying of the waters by retailers who have created other schemes so that people aren't faced with the 'Fairtrade/nonFairtrade' stark choice but can feel OK about buying nonFairtrade goods because of other labels that promise vaguely similar-sounding things.

I read the article and have been re-energised to buy Fairtrade and to ignore the 'I Can't Believe It's Not Fairtrade' schemes ('Rainforest Alliance' my arse) but I'm lucky to have that choice and Sainsbury's is a consumer organisation that will follow the money. IMO it is unreasonable to expect a supermarket to be more ethical than its customer base.


M0stlyBowlingHedgehog · 28/06/2017 19:02

Without any form of external adjudication, or agreement from the producers (who they have over a barrel, economically speaking), what makes you think the company's own unilaterally issued "ethical stamp of approval" is worth more than the wrapping paper it's printed on, UserLotsofNumbers?

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M0stlyBowlingHedgehog · 28/06/2017 19:05

The economic argument I can understand, annandale - but I think it's dishonest to take what is effectively "we're pulling out of fair trade for financial reasons" and dress it up as "we're going to offer you (con you) with these 'fairly traded' products instead."

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user1498665532 · 28/06/2017 19:06

Fairtrade is a scam doesn't help the farmers and used a money making scam to print a stamp.


Fidoandacupoftea · 28/06/2017 19:09

It is purely economical and under current conditions will make little news. It is really frustrating though.


Ifailed · 28/06/2017 19:11

Sainbury's have tried and failed to win extra market share with their 'quality' arguments. As those at the top are measured and rewarded by sales v cost figures, they have decided to drop the overhead of paying for Fairtrade branding. As most people in the UK shop on price and really don't give a fig where their food comes from and what the producers are paid, this is hardly surprising.


M0stlyBowlingHedgehog · 28/06/2017 19:15

That article is interesting - but does it establish that Fairtrade is a pointless exercise or that there's room for improvement? Given the choice between an imperfect fairtrade system which could be improved in future, and a race-to-the-bottom where a small number of very large buyers screw small suppliers, I'd sooner we worked to try to improve what we've got.

Also I note that the Guardian had to put in a footnote to the effect that one of the experts in the field quoted by the author of the article contacted them to say his views had been seriously misrepresented.

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