The Co-op, owned by the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), is to be the first UK supermarket chain to stock own-label Fairtrade Foundation products with the launch of a milk chocolate bar.
The Co-op Fairtrade Divine bar, which will be available in 2,000 outlets from March 6, is to be rolled out to coincide with the start of “Fair trade fortnight”.
Divine will be sold at a special introductory price of 31p for a 45g bar.
The Fairtrade Foundation was set up to provide food industry workers in the Third World with better working conditions and a fairer deal for their produce.
Divine chocolate is produced in the UK by the Day Chocolate Company – part-owned by cocoa farmers from Ghana.
The Co-op introduced Fairtrade label bananas to its stores in January, and also stocks Fairtrade tea and coffee. The retailer plans to roll out further Fairtrade products this year.
Customers will be offered a free Fairtrade Foundation newsletter when they buy four products from the range.
CWS spokeswoman Michelle Vernon says: “Divine chocolate guarantees a fairer deal for cocoa growers in Ghana.
“We want to introduce a broader spectrum of Fairtrade products than is currently on offer.”