Marks and Spencer to launch Fairtrade vegetables

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 26th May 2010

Marks and Spencer has started selling Fairtrade-certified vegetables, with the launch of green beans from Kenya.

The UK retailer will add Fairtrade green beans to its stable of over 300 different Fairtrade food, drink and flowers lines. M&S has reported success with Fairtrade products, reporting a sales rise of 40% last year.

The move has been made possible by the extension of Fairtrade standards for vegetables to include small-scale outgrowers who can only access export markets by selling crops through larger plantations.

“Working with Marks & Spencer over the last few years has brought more and more farmers into the Fairtrade system,” said Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation.

“This product first will help small scale farmers who are currently selling directly to a plantation, to make the leap of becoming organised producer organisations, selling on in their own right under Fairtrade terms.”

M&S said it is hoping to launch other varieties of Fairtrade beans and fresh peas, including mange-tout, snow peas, sugar snap and garden peas.

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