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Argentina's first Fairtrade wines

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK's first Fairtrade wines from Argentina will hit the shelves of the Co-op next week.

Four wines will feature in the range: a Torrontes/Chardonnay and Bonarda/Shiraz at 3.99, and a Pinot Grigio and a Shiraz at 4.99.

The wines all come from the La Riojana wine co-operative, which is based in Chilecito, a remote town in the Famatina Valley in Argentina.

Being a member of the Fairtrade co-operative ensures that the growers receive a fair price for their grapes, help with transport, free technical assistance and insurance against frost and crop devastation. It also allows the growers to join a joint committee and vote on issues affecting the co-operative, as well as providing them with recreation facilities.

As part of the Fairtrade accreditation - which was awarded in May this year - the growers will receive a special premium form the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation, which the Co-op is matching. This money will then be put towards a project to supply water to the village of Tilimuqui, where 97 of the winery's workers live.

An old water supply will be renovated and a well and pump built so all villagers get access to regular, clean water. This is the second time the co-op has embarked on such a project, previously building three daycare facilities for workers at South Africa's Du Toitskloof co-operative.