Sodexo is serving Fairtrade certified loose and cubed sugar at its 929 restaurants and cafés in the UK.
The company has partnered with Tate & Lyle Sugars to make the swap to sugar carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark which guarantees fairer conditions to help disadvantaged producers to tackle poverty and invest in a better, more stable future.
The move, in Fairtrade Fortnight (27 Feb - 11 March), highlights Sodexo's commitment to Fairtrade and ethical sourcing and takes the company's portfolio of Fairtrade products to more than 80 including coffee, tea, fruit, confectionery, wine and snacks. The value of Fairtrade products the company purchases is in excess of £1 million a year.
Sodexo is committed to increasing the purchase of products from fairly traded certified sources as part of its sustainability strategy to 2020, the Better Tomorrow Plan.
Ashish Deo, commercial director at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "Starting in Fairtrade Fortnight, the Fairtrade Foundation is challenging the public to take a step in the right direction by thinking about what they can do every day, every week or every month throughout 2012 to make a difference to the lives of farmers in the developing world who produce the products they buy. Sodexo's step to use more Fairtrade sugar is a welcome step in the right direction."
Every year, events take place across the country during Fairtrade Fortnight to promote awareness of producers in developing countries.
Michelle Hanson, commercial director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: "We are proud to serve Fairtrade products and are always working to make it as easy as possible for our clients and consumers to buy ethical and sustainable food and drinks. In the UK, we buy 393 tonnes of loose and cubed sugar each year and it is great to be able to use our purchasing power to make a positive difference to the lives of producers and their communities."
In 2009, Sodexo launched its ethical hot beverage offering, Aspretto. The brand's products are sourced from markets accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation, Rainforest Alliance and the Soil Association.