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Kroger expands Fair Trade Certified offerings

Kroger, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, announced 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.krolog

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 Waste vision 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."