”Kesko has been a forerunner in making Fairtrade products mainstream. The first Fairtrade products – coffee and tea – came to K-food stores as early as 1999, the year when Fairtrade Finland started operations,” says Janne Sivonen, Executive Director at Fairtrade Finland.
Over the past 15 years, the selection in Kesko’s grocery trade has grown from two products to comprise more than 230 Fairtrade products and over 30 Pirkka Fairtrade products.
“Customers are choosing sustainable products more and more often. Fairtrade products are an easy choice on store shelves. We have increased the number of Fairtrade products particularly in the Pirkka range, as in addition to sustainability, own brands also have the benefit of a little lower prices,” says Ari Akseli, Kesko’s Vice President for commerce.
Farmers of Fairtrade products are always paid at least the guaranteed price plus a Fairtrade premium. In 2013, the products sold by K-food stores generated a total of €324,054 as a Fairtrade premium, while in 2014 the sum totalled €361,367.
“Our target is that the total Fairtrade premium paid to farmers for the sale of these products at K-stores would amount to half a million euros in 2018. We are also joining in Fairtrade Finland’s development cooperation project that provides support to Central American coffee farmers,” Akseli continues.
Pirkka Fairtrade flowers and bananas have been best-sellers. For example, 1,350,000 bouquets of Pirkka Fairtrade roses were sold last year and the selection of flowers has expanded to include carnations and mixed bouquets.