200 disgruntled Pinner residents have yet to receive a response for an open letter they handed over about Sainsbury’s Fairtrade changes.
Customers presented the letter to the manager of Sainsbury’s Pinner store in late August as part of a continuing national campaign directed at the supermarket chain.
Last year Sainsbury’s, who have had an ongoing partnership with Fairtrade, dropped the Fairtrade Mark from their own-brand tea.
Sainsbury’s customer and local resident Elizabeth Thorp says she is still waiting to hear a response from the store, despite being told she would have one just a few days after the letter was handed in.
She commented: “I asked for a response from Sainsbury’s and on September 10 I received an email from the head office saying they would contact me again within five working days, but as of today (October 7) I haven’t received anything further. I will be very interested to see what they say because I don’t understand why they decided to move away from independent Fairtrade certification for their tea.”
Earlier in the month, Elizabeth explained the reasoning behind the letter:
“Sainsbury’s are calling their tea ‘fairly traded’ but it’s not the same as the fair Fairtrade Mark. It’s completely controlled by Sainsbury’s. Tea farmers want to stay with the Fairtrade Mark system.
“We want Sainsbury’s to return to obtaining Fairtrade Mark certification for all their own-brand tea.
“Until then, the best thing for everyone to do is choose tea which does carry the Fairtrade Mark.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We have no record of any letter being handed in. It isn’t a matter of it being ignored because we welcome customer feedback, so we ask that the customer send us the letter again.”