More than 13,000 nut farmers in Malawi, Mozambique and India
will benefit from a decision by Tesco to increase its successful
Fairtrade nuts range.
Working with alternative trading organisation Twin Trading,
Tesco has launched two new products - a 200g Fairtrade peanut
and raisin mix, and Fairtrade natural cashews in 150g packs.
The move follows the successful introduction of shelled
own-brand Fairtrade brazil nuts to Tesco stores in March
last year. These now account for more than a quarter of
brazil nuts sold in the fresh produce category of Tesco
and the product has been rolled out to more than 600 Tesco
The peanut and raisin mix shows a photo of Judith Harry,
a Malawian peanut farmer and single mother of a teenage
daughter, who says: "In Mkanda where I live most farmers
live below the poverty line. They earn below $1 per day
and do not have enough food to last them the whole year.
The guaranteed fair price which comes with Fairtrade is
important as we make a profit when we sell our nuts and
we can use the money to lift up our lives." The peanuts
are also available in roasted and salted form from Co-op
The Fairtrade raisins have been sourced by Traidcraft and
come from the Eksteenskuil Farmers Association of 119 smallholder
farmers near the Kalahari in South Africa.
Thomas Kalappurackal, a cashew farmer in India and joint
secretary of the Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) which
is supplying some of the nuts says: "Farmers' debts have
steadily mounted in Kerala. There is growing impoverishment
and some farmers have taken their own lives, unable to bear
the burden of debt. The guaranteed fair price which comes
with Fairtrade is a move away from this terrible insecurity."
Significant market opportunities exist with these products
because of the ever increasing popularity of Fairtrade and
because of the huge rise in nut buying thanks to their well-publicised
The world nut market is dominated by a small number of large
trading houses, with local traders and processors controlling
supply chains in some of the world's poorest countries.
Those at the bottom of the chain - small-scale farmers -
tend to gain little in return for their intensively hard
work whilst their crops generate significant returns to
those further up the supply chain. Many nut farmers have
seen the real value of their crop decrease year on year
and they are struggling to survive.