The Co-operative Food named UK’s top Ethical Drinks Retailer for 2nd year at the Drinks Retailing Awards 2015

MANCHESTER, UK, 2015-2-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-operative Food has been named the UK’s top Ethical Drinks Retailer for the second year running at the Drinks Retailing Awards 2015.

The convenience retailer was awarded the prestigious accolade for its market-leading commitment to responsible retailing of beers, wines and spirits in the UK.

Simon Cairns, Category Buyer for Beers, Wine and Spirits, said:

“As a community retailer owned by its customers, it’s even more important that we strive for a better way to do business in an ethical and responsible way so this award is fantastic recognition of this work.”

As part of the rigorous judging process made up of a panel of industry experts, the award decision was informed by customer research.

Since launching the first own-label Fairtrade mark wine in the UK more than 10 years ago, the retailer has led the way in the development of Fairtrade and is the UK’s largest retailer of Fairtrade wine, selling 52.5% of all Fairtrade wine sold in the UK. The profits have helped to fund invaluable resources in poverty-stricken communities across the world including running water, healthcare and education.

Notable projects which have been funded by sales of Fairtrade wine, include the building of a secondary school in Tilimuqui, Argentina, now helping to educate 315 pupils.

Furthermore, the retailer has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 36% in the last year by increasing the volume of wine bottled in the UK as well as switching to a lighter weight glass bottle for many selected lines. The move has saved 4,222 tonnes of CO2 emissions – the equivalent to the electricity needs of 18,759 households for a year.

The Co-operative was the first retailer* to include a full list of ingredients, calorie information and sensible drinking advice in addition to alcohol units on its wine labels as part of its commitment to open and honest labelling. This is now available across its own-brand range of beers and spirits too.

The Co-operative also has a range of initiatives in place to promote responsible drinking, including offering a greater choice of lower-alcohol and alcohol-free products as well as removing its own-brand super strength lager and large-bottled strong dry cider from the range, and lowering the ABV on its own-label cider range.

The Drinks Retailing Awards brings together the industry’s leading lights, and the judging process is one of the most rigorous of all food and drink industry awards.  The Ethical Retailer of the Year award is given to the retailer which is judged to have provided the greatest contribution to green and ethical retailing in the past 12 months.


Further information:
* In 1996, we led the industry by putting sensible drinking advice on our wines and spirits, which was in addition to alcohol units. In 1999, we became the first retailer to label the ingredients in wine. In 2002, we became the first retailers to include calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks


Fairtrade wine offers running for Fairtrade Fortnight

(24 February – 9 March)


“Truly Irresistible” white Promo (£)

Normal (£)

The Co-operative Fairtrade Truly Irresistible Sauvignon Blanc 2014
(South Africa)


Crafted by one of South Africa’s leading female winemakers, Corlea Fourie, this wine is sourced chiefly from Bosman’s main sites in the Western Cape (84% of the blend), then ‘topped up’ with fruit from Walker Bay’s De Bos vineyard and even a splash of old vines Chenin to add richness and ripeness. The nose is dominated by lemon/lime notes, whilst on the palate things turn to Granny Smith apples, gooseberries and an underlying honeydew melon flavour. Partners well with most chicken and fish dishes.


“Truly Irresistible” red Promo (£)

Normal (£)

The Co-operative Fairtrade Truly Irresistible Malbec 2013


Rodolfo Griguol, one of Argentina’s most respected winemakers, produces our flagship Fairtrade Malbec from high altitude vineyards growing on sandy alluvial soils in the remote, picturesque Famatina Valley in North West Argentina. Made from 100% Malbec, the fruit was hand harvested and gently crushed. The wine then receives a long vinification period to ensure good fruit and deep colour extraction. Following a recent significant investment in their barrel hall, La Riojana then age the wine for nine months in a mixture of new and old oak. Purple red – almost black in colour – and bursting with plum, cherry and jam aromas, this full bodied wine has sweet but firm tannins with bursts of chocolate, tobacco and vanilla. Pair with red meat, especially steak.


Save £1 Moscato Promo (£)

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The Co-operative Fairtrade Rosé Moscato NV
(South Africa)


A small dash (5%) of Cinsault finds its way into this appealing Moscato from South Africa’s Breede River, adding structure and colour to the finished product. Fresh red grape aromas dominate the nose in a way which only a Moscato can, with sweet and breezy orchard fruit flavours characterising the palate. The gentle CO2 prickle certainly brings down the perception of sweetness dramatically (measured at 65g/l) and the wine comes over as fruity and balanced, rather than cloying. Superb value and great as an aperitif or with summer salads and desserts.


From South Africa Promo (£)

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The Co-operative Fairtrade Chardonnay 2014
The Co-operative Fairtrade Shiraz 2014
(South Africa)


This is an elegant, accomplished Chardonnay from the cellars of Bosman Family Vineyards, one of the Co-operative’s major partners in South Africa. The emphasis was placed on creating a fresh, crisp style, but with a clear element of peachy tropical fruit; meanwhile, an element (20 percent) of oak adds a slight creaminess and roundness to the palate. It is excellent for picnics and light summer dinners, but also ideal with creamy kormas, seafood salad or simply on its own.

A magnificent, deep purple Shiraz from Bosman’s Fairtrade vineyards in South Africa with dark red fruits on the nose accompanied by notes of peppery spice. The palate is firm but round, exuding ripe, rich berry fruits and reassuring, balancing, well-integrated tannin. Enjoy with robust meat dishes and succulent stews.


From Chile Promo (£)

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The Co-operative Fairtrade Carmenère 2014


The luscious Carmenère is originally an historical French varietal which has in more recent times found a home for itself in sunny Chile as the country’s signature red grape. Indeed, the 2003 vintage was the very first own-label Fairtrade wine stocked at the Co-operative and it has remained enduringly popular since. A blackberry-hued Carmenère with a flavour profile dominated by notes of damsons, blackcurrant and mint, it is the soft, velvety mouth-feel which distinguishes the wine, allying it well to roast poultry, stuffed peppers or mature cheddar cheese.


From Argentina Promo (£)

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The Co-operative Fairtrade Pinot Grigio 2014
The Co-operative Fairtrade Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


The enduringly popular Pinot Grigio is hardly known for its discernible character – something which makes this delicious and decidedly characterful example all the more remarkable. It offers an aroma of soft tropical fruits with notes of honeydew melon and stewed apple. There is very pleasant finish with this wine, upheld by its crisp acidity – it will stand up to spiced dishes and will work well with a goat’s cheese tart.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is a great example of the grape variety, delivering dense dark fruits on the nose with beautiful blackcurrant aromas prevailing. Medium- to full-bodied, this is a well-balanced wine with a spicy finish, thanks in no small part to the oak integration, and is perfect to accompany robust red meat dishes and of course, vintage cheddar.


For further information

or high res images, please contact:

Lauren Chambers
Public Relations Officer
The Co-operative – Food
0161 767 4290