Fairtrade – A matter of respect

We cultivate partnership-based relationships with our suppliers because fairness, respect and transparency are prerequisites for shared success and long-term growth. Fairness is therefore one of our focuses: in the cultivation of raw materials, in processing and in trade.

Minimum social standards for the whole range

Particularly stringent guidelines apply to our own-label brands, but we also require compliance with minimum social standards for our conventionally manufactured goods. Our business partners and their upstream suppliers must therefore take appropriate measures to ensure that the country-specific regulations and the relevant conventions and principles of the United Nations (UN), OECD and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are observed. In risk countries, we also require the implementation of the Code of Conduct of the Business Compliance Initiative (BSCI) or adequate social standards. This is documented in the Guideline on Sustainable Sourcing.

Fairtrade Max Havelaar

We are the largest retailer of Fairtrade Max Havelaar products in Switzerland and stock the world's largest range of fairly traded products. Today, every second Fairtrade product sold in Switzerland passes through a Coop check-out and we continue to switch entire ranges containing raw materials from the south to fair trade.

Supporting producers in the south

We have been working closely with Max Havelaar to expand the Fairtrade range since 1992. Fairtrade greatly improves and stabilizes the income of small-scale farmers and workers. The Fairtrade Premium also enables small-scale farmers and workers to make investments that will benefit them in the future.

We are firmly committed to fair trade and have set ourselves the goal of switching all the raw materials from developing and emerging countries used in our own-label brands to Fairtrade. One way we will achieve this is by switching entire ranges such as fruit juices, Asian rice varieties or chocolate bars to Fairtrade Max Havelaar. We are the first Swiss company to be gradually introducing the new Fairtrade Sourced Ingredients label as of mid-2018. The new label means that individual ingredients grown and traded in line with fair trade principles can also be labelled as Fairtrade-certified.

Fairtrade Premium in excess of USD 5.5 million

Almost 1.6 million small-scale farmers and workers benefit from the sale of products bearing the Fairtrade Max Havelaar label. The cumulative Fairtrade premium is growing steadily and now totals over USD 5.5 million a year. Coop has thus contributed a total of USD 60.5 million to Fairtrade premiums since 1992.

The approach adopted by Fairtrade Max Havelaar, which we have supported for 30 years, is based in part on these four elements:

  • Self-determination and assumption of responsibility: thanks to co-determination in democratically organized cooperatives and workers' committees. 
  • Higher, more stable incomes: thanks in part to the minimum price.
  • Investments in the future thanks to the Fairtrade Premium: this enables farmers and workers to invest in, for example, the creation and expansion of local infrastructure, safety or health projects, education and training as well as quality improvements.
  • Long-term trade relations: firm, trust-based partnerships assure the farmers they can rely on long-term, stable sales of their goods.

We too benefit greatly from these long-term trade relations, as they enable quality improvements to be achieved with greater efficiency and on a more lasting basis.

Pro Montagna

Through our own-label brand for mountain products, we support a viable mountain economy in Switzerland. The raw materials must come from, and be processed in the mountain regions. This safeguards jobs and creates long-term prospects. Furthermore, a contribution is made to the Coop Mountain Areas Sponsorship Programme from the proceeds of each Pro Montagna product sold, to further the development of the mountain regions.

Naturaline – Fairly-traded textiles and cosmetic products

For 25 years, our own-label Naturaline brand has been a prime example of the socially responsible and environmentally responsible production of textiles. The organic cotton originates exclusively from the bioRe projects in India and Tanzania. Every stage of processing, from cultivation of organic cotton through to the finished item of clothing, meets strict ecological and social requirements. All partner companies in the Naturaline production chain undergo a Naturaline audit and are either SA8000-certified or integrated in the BSCI process. We are thereby pursuing our goal of ensuring the continuous development and improvement of our long-term partners in the process chain.

The Naturaline Swiss Cosmetics range cares for the skin in a gentle and natural way. It offers a natural alternative comprising plant-based ingredients. The natural cosmetics range is certified under the Ecocert standard for natural and organic cosmetics, which the organization developed in 2002 in collaboration with experts from the cosmetics industry, consumers and leading industry representatives. All our Naturaline Swiss Cosmetics products comply with this standard. The key principles in certification include sustainable ingredients produced in an environmentally friendly manner. At least 95 % of all ingredients must be of natural origin.