17. Independent Society Members - Fairtrade (Carried - 94.20%)
Motion This AGM recognises the substantial progress made by Co-operative Group since the 2015 AGM in reconfirming its commitment towards “leading the way on Fairtrade”. Innovations such as www.growingstories.coop, the switch to 100% sugar and the move to Fairtrade across own brand Easter eggs are welcome; and the renewed focus on Fairtrade Fortnight creates a new standard for future activity.
It is also recognised that range is ahead of convenience competitors in the main categories. However, there is evidence of de-ranging of Fairtrade products such as honey, ale, orange juice, cashews, charcoal, cotton wool and muesli. This is not consistent with the response to the 2015 AGM motion which acknowledged previous deletions but advised that “Going forward we don’t expect to cut any deeper and in some cases, where demand is sufficient, we will look to extend.”
This meeting calls on the Board and Executive to provide a review of range and availability of Fairtrade products in store and, as the Fairtrade policy work develops over the next 12 months, to rebuild the range to allow members and customers a genuine opportunity to choose Fairtrade at their local store to the levels to which they had been previously accustomed.
Supporting information from Independent Society Members We believe Fairtrade provides a genuine point of difference against our competitors so should be promoted in all our stores, and we believe our support for Fairtrade provides a clear demonstration of co-operative values and principles in action.
Our members and customers believe this too. But they are telling us that our Fairtrade offer is not sufficiently visible in our stores so does not allow they themselves to make a difference by choosing Fairtrade.
The motion is looking to address this in a practical way by challenging management and the Board, as we ourselves are being challenged, to review and rebuild the Fairtrade range to allow members and customers a genuine opportunity to choose Fairtrade at their local store.
Your Board response: Your Board recommends that you read its full response and the supporting information for this motion before deciding how to vote.
Your Council response: Your Council recommends that you vote for this motion.