On this year's National Nut Day, Liberation Foods - the UK’s only farmer-owned Fairtrade nut company – moves away from celebrity endorsement with two new lines that focus on straight Fairtrade marketing.
The company – sister to UK Fairtrade brand Divine - is 44% owned by eight co-ops in South America, Africa and India. Its own brand Fairtrade nuts are available in Oxfam UK and Belgium stores and British supermarket Waitrose. The co-op also supplies nuts to supermarkets Sainsbury, Tesco and indirectly to Morrisons.
Off putting celebrity presence
Liberation Foods receives support from organisations like Comic Relief and previously had celebrity commendation from British comedian Harry Hill who faced the company’s brand Harry’s Nuts. However the lines were pulled this summer after the company found that for various reasons the celebrity endorsement did not appeal to Fairtrade consumers, Megan Falck marketing and communications manager at Liberation Foods told BakeryandSnacks.com.
This discontinued line meant that the company had more shelf space, which it has now replaced with further own-brand packs.
The two new lines, available in Oxfam stores from yesterday, are Fairtrade Mixed Nuts containing Brazil nuts, cashews, roasted peanuts, macadamias and almonds and Fairtrade Mixed Nuts with Dried Fruit combining Brazil nuts with sweetened dried pineapple, raisins and cranberries.
Fairtrade on co-op and corporate scale
Falck noted that consumers may be less likely of late to recognise Fairtrade coop brands since larger corporations may offer a Fairtrade option on certain products like chocolate and coffee.
“In chocolate for example, Cadbury has Fairtrade chocolate bars, whereas a company like Divine chocolate are 100% Fairtrade,” she said. Yet these bigger corporations still benefit from the certain branding association that comes along with the Fairtrade label.
“The eight cooperatives we work with all together make up the INPC- the International Nut Producer’s Cooperative – so it’s a cooperative of other cooperatives all other the world. But the INPC is what owns 44% shares,” Falck said.
The board of INPC is responsible for deciding how the premium money is spent and how the business is run, she explained.
UK's fourth National Nut Day
Today, October 22, is the UK’s fourth National Nut Day. There is no one company or organisation behind the event, Falck told BakeryandSnacks.com, but Liberation Foods is using the event to promote its message and two lines added to its Oxfam seasonal range.