First premium Fairtrade wines hit UK

01 August, 2007

Wine importer Ehrmanns is hoping to improve perceptions of the quality of Fairtrade wine by introducing the first premium range to the UK.

The Argentine Soluna range will launch at the Argentine tasting on September 19 and will be targeted at independent retailers, organic specialists and multiples such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

Joy Rushton, Ehrmanns buying manager responsible for its Fairtrade portfolio said: ďWe believe that the Soluna range is set to elevate perceptions of the Fairtrade category and raise awareness of the high standard of wines available, as well as drawing further attention to the benefits of Fairtrade to the local growers and their communitiesĒ.

The Soluna range consists of two Malbecís one of which is organic and the wines have rrps of £8.99 and £9.99.

Grapes for the wines are grown by 19 small growers in Mendoza who have formed an association called Vinasol. Through the Fairtrade scheme the growers are guaranteed a minimum price for their grapes and also receive a social premium which is used to fund community projects.

Ehrmanns has been importing Fairtrade wine to the UK since 2004, the first year that Fairtrade standards were introduced for wine grapes.

Fairtrade wine has grown hugely over the past four years. From 2004 to 2006, the Fairtrade Foundationís wine category grew from 800,000 bottles sold to 3 million.

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