Quality Fairtrade from Co-op

02 November, 2007

The Co-op is launching what it says is the UK's first own-label reserve quality Fairtrade wine range.

The pair - a Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa and an organic Malbec from Argentina - will bring the number of Fairtrade wines stocked by the retailer to 16. Wine buyer Maria Gallup said: "To get Fairtrade into the mainstream you've got to have the right price points. These wines get people trading up and offer something a bit more special."

The Cape Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is from the Du Toitskloof co-operative in the Western Cape. All of the retailers' Fairtrade South African wines are produced from grapes grown by the 22 farms belonging to the co-operative.

The Argentine Organic Malbec is sourced from the La Riojana co-operative in the Famatina Valley. Also from the La Riojana is a new own-label

3-litre box of Fairtrade Argentine Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc, which will hits shelves next week with a price tag of £14.99.

The Co-op has plans to add a Fairtrade sparkling wine to its portfolio in 2008, Gallup said.

At its recent press tasting the retailer also revealed

10 additions to its South African range. Gallup added that sales of South African wines have grown 13.8 per cent in value in the past year.

Sales of sparkling wine are up 45.5 per cent in value,

says wine development manager Paul Bastard. But such strong growth has "taken sales away from Champagne" .

To reverse this trend, the Co-op is rolling out an own-label non-vintage and 1999 vintage Champagne in time for Christmas. Over Christmas the Co-op will run discounts of up to 50 per cent on selected sparkling wines.

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