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Sainsbury's to source Fairtrade cotton from Gujarat, India
Feb '11
Sainsbury's has announced that it will source all of its Fairtrade cotton from a cooperative supplier in Gujarat.

In the first deal of its kind, Sainsbury's have committed to buying a year's worth of cotton during the harvest period. This will allow the famers to plan how they use their money, as they will have a guaranteed annual income. Sainsbury's will also provide advance payments of the Fairtrade premiums, which can be used immediately for community projects.

Ninad Gupte, from the Project Executive Body Agrocel, said: "Sainsbury's is the largest consumer of Fairtrade cotton from our projects in Gujarat. Cotton prices are very unstable so guaranteeing our farmers a minimum price and pre-financing the Fairtrade social premium, offers security that has not been possible in the past. Through this initiative, our farmers cooperative body has been able to improve conditions by investing in projects like providing clean drinking water and health check ups."

Liz Jarman, Sainsbury's Head of Fairtrade said: "Clothing is a major feature of Sainsbury's Fairtrade offer and we are proud to be supporting cotton farmers in a way which has not been seen before. Sainsbury's sell an average of 250 Fairtrade t-shirts per hour, which means a total Fairtrade premium of $250,000 per year to benefit cotton farmers in Gujarat."

Around 1,200 small and marginal farmers based in Gujarat will benefit from this initiative, allowing investment in long-term benefits such as health and education.

Sainsbury's are the world's largest retailer of Fairtrade products, with one in four pounds spent on Fairtrade in the UK being spent in a Sainsbury's store. With Fairtrade Fortnight starting on 28 February, Sainsbury's are adding to the number of Fairtrade products that they stock with the introduction of five new lines of own brand Fairtrade chocolate and Fairtrade hollow boxed Easter eggs.

J Sainsbury plc was founded in 1869 and today operates a total of 890 stores comprising 547 supermarkets and 343 convenience stores.

J Sainsbury plc

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