CINCINNATI — Kroger (NYSE: KR), in partnership with Fair Trade USA, announced today that its Simple Truth brand will expand in 2018 to offer more Fair Trade Certified products. The Simple Truth brand’s current portfolio of Fair Trade products spans multiple commodities, including coffee, cocoa, coconut, tea, sugar and agave, and leads the private label grocery industry in Fair Trade offerings.
Kroger presently carries nearly 300 Fair Trade Certified products representing 60 brands.
To earn the Fair Trade certification, farms must meet and adhere to a rigorous set of social, environmental and economic standards. Once certified, farmers and workers earn a premium on top of every sale which goes into a community-managed bank account. These funds are then used on projects in areas like healthcare, education, water and food security to foster advancement in the community.
Since the inception of the Simple Truth brand in the fourth quarter of 2012, Kroger has purchased Fair Trade Certified ingredients, and these global supply partnerships positively impact the lives of farmers in countries like the Philippines, Colombia and Dominican Republic. In 2016, Kroger purchased 1.2 million pounds of certified ingredients.
“Kroger’s partnership with Fair Trade USA supports our Zero Hunger | Zero Wastevision and allows us to Live Our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit,” said Gil Phipps, vice president of Our Brands. “The Fair Trade model supports income sustainability, environmental stewardship, empowerment and the well-being of every participating farming community. As customer interest in Fair Trade products grows, Kroger is proud to be leading the industry with our Simple Truth offerings and increasing our product selection every year.”
Kroger’s Fair Trade purchases have benefited many farmers and their families. At Peter Paul, a coconut producer in the Philippines, nearly 250 young people have received scholarships for continued education. At FIECH, a coffee cooperative in Mexico, farmers are using their community development funds to diversify their crops, improve farming practices and launch a micro-lending program to help natives start new businesses to support their families.
“Kroger’s commitment to Fair Trade is a powerful example of responsible sourcing in the retail industry,” said Ken Redding, Chief Commercial Officer at Fair Trade USA. “The impact is felt across the many Fair Trade communities where they source and reflects Kroger customers’ growing desire to shop their values.”
Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic can be found exclusively at The Kroger Co. Family of Stores, and the brands make it easy for customers to find delicious and affordable organic, free-from and natural foods.
In 2018, Simple Truth will expand its Fair Trade collection by introducing 10 new products.
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers, protects fragile ecosystems, and builds strong, transparent supply chains through independent, third-party certification. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ label signifies that rigorous standards have been met in the production, trade and promotion of Fair Trade products from over 80 countries across the globe. Recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also provides critical capacity-building programs at origin, and educates consumers about the power of their purchase. Visit www.FairTradeCertified.org for more information.
At The Kroger Co., we are dedicated to our purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit. We are 453,000 associates who serve nearly nine million customers every day in 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our Family of Companies operates an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized order online service – in addition to 2,258 pharmacies, 783 convenience stores, 307 fine jewelry stores, 222 retail health clinics, 1,472 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Our Company has been recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for our support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. As a leader in supplier diversity, we are a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.