Kumala adds Fairtrade wines

The UK’s biggest South African wine brand, Kumala, is rolling out a new Fairtrade wine in collaboration with The Co-op.

The new Kumala Fairtrade Pinotage Shiraz, which launches exclusively in The Coop this month (RRP: £6.99) is the result of a two-year project with the Accolade-owned wine brand, and comes amid “buoyant” sales of Fairtrade wine, the Co-op said.

The Co-op’s Fairtrade strategy manager Brad Hill said the company was proud of the part it had played in helping to establish the UK as the world’s largest consumer of Fairtrade products. “Here at the Co-op we have a continued commitment to show our customers, members and producers how important it is to us,” he said.

The retailer, which accounts for 66% of Fairtrade wine sold in the UK, and around 32% of the global Fairtrade market, saw sales of its Fairtrade own-label wines grow 20% over the last year, following its decision to strip out any non-Fairtrade wine duplication from the range, and make Fair-trade the core line where possible.

The Fairtrade scheme includes a set of strict guidelines and test to safeguard workers’ rights and living conditions, guaranteeing growers a fair price for their harvest along with an additional ‘Fairtrade premium’ that goes to the workers to invest in local community projects that they determined themselves.

Peter Nowek of Accolade Wines said that money raised through Kumala Fairtrade would be invested back into farming communities in the Western Cape region of South Africa, improving the lives and working conditions for its farm workers and their families.

Speaking to db recently, BWS boss Simon Cairns said there was an opportunity to ‘stretch’ the Fairtrade category into more premium wines on the back of growing consumer interest and demand, and the team were keen to add more wines over £10 to see how far they could take the category.

“Fairtrade hasn’t been stretched very far in that area in the past, so that is exciting,” he told db. “Although I can’t see a huge surge of volume back into the wine market, what I can see is the continued growth in terms of value. The Fairtrade range is very affordable, but we want to see if we can we stretch it.”

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