Spreading the fair message
Fairtrade wines have become a recognized trend in the beverage industry, bringing considerable benefits to workers and their families. Making a difference is also what Altia is aiming for.
Leading the Altia Fairtrade success is Patchwork, a Fairtrade wine part of Fairhills, one of the world’s most successful Fairtrade projects in the wine business. Fairtrade and Fairhills are all about improving the quality of life.
“Fairtrade means improved economic conditions for workers and their families. In addition to higher payments, farmers also receive an added bonus that must be used to make investments which benefit the entire community,” says Carin Widoff, Senior Brand Manager at Altia Sweden.
This is also the message in Altia Sweden’s recently released video, which portrays how the Fairhills project and Fairtrade have changed the working conditions and lives of workers involved in the project.
During the ten years that the project has been active, village life has undergone a remarkable transformation. School and daycare have been introduced, along with functioning medical services, a computer room, a library and training sessions for adults.
Michael Bech-Jansen, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations at Altia, echoes Widoff, saying Fairtrade products belong to Altia’s corporate responsibility cornerstones.
“Altia is driving a responsibility agenda, where investing in long-term responsibility is a way for Altia to develop a sustainable business,” Bech-Jansen says.
According to Bech-Jansen, the role of Fairtrade has changed significantly in recent years, with Fairtrade now a true consumer trend.
“Both consumers and customers are becoming more conscious and informed about Fairtrade. Our biggest customers, Alko in Finland and Systembolaget in Sweden, are continuously increasing their sales of Fairtrade and other ethically certified wines,” Bech-Jansen explains.
Widoff also views responsibility as an increasingly important issue in the wine business, with companies adjusting their portfolios to meet the demands for responsible production.
“Naturally, we try to increase our share of these kind of wines because of the rising demand. We are always part of the blending process, where style and quality are decided. For us, uniqueness and great value are key,” Widoff says.
Altia is constantly on the look-out for new sustainable partners. As the demand for Fairtrade wines increases, so does the demand for Altia’s fair trade portfolio.
“Altia’s product development and producer/partner business is focused on delivering relevant consumer products which respond to the growing trends in the market. As a natural consequence, Altia works to expand the Fairtrade portfolio in all our markets,” Bech-Jansen concludes.