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Marks and Spencer Switches All Served Coffee to Fairtrade

Marks and Spencer, which has the U.K.'s third largest number of High Street coffee shops, has switched all the coffee it serves to Fairtrade. This will double the amount of Fairtrade coffee on sale in the U.K.'s coffee shops.

Other chains already offer limited Fairtrade options or coffees marketed as ethical.

But campaigners say that to switch all coffee to Fairtrade without putting up the price is groundbreaking.

Harriet Lamb heads up the charity the Fairtrade Foundation. It licenses goods so they can qualify for a Fairtrade label. She told the BBC: "What Fairtrade does is it gives farmers the choice to stay on the land, to send their children to school and to invest in improving the quality of their coffee."

The Co-Operative Group’s experience of switching to Fairtrade suggests that there is also a sound business case to do so.

Since making all of their own brands of coffee and chocolate Fairtrade they have seen sales soar.

Chocolate sales volumes were up 24% in the 12 months following conversion to Fairtrade and a further 46% in the first half of this year.

In both periods, sales of other more established brands have stayed static.

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