Fair Trade Charcoal

Our Fair Trade Charcoal

It’s fair to say we’re big on trading fairly and we support communities across the world through some of your favourite Co-op products – from bananas to chocolate, tea and coffee to wine. But did you know that we even stock Fair Trade charcoal and BBQ sets?

There are no internationally recognised Fairtrade standards for charcoal, so we work in a unique partnership with Traidcraft to support burners and workers in Namibia with our Fair Trade charcoal and BBQ set sales.

Since we launched our Fair Trade charcoal in 2009, over £75,000 of Fair Trade Premiums have been raised to fund projects which benefit charcoal producers and their communities in Namibia. With support from Traidcraft, the workers and burners have decided themselves how they want to spend the money.

Workers in Namibia have used some of the premium money to invest in a water filtration system and a vegetable garden. This has meant that lots of “grey” water from the showers is no longer wasted but is used to water the vegetable garden, providing healthy vegetables and fruit for the workers’ lunches and for their families too.

“We are eating nice vegetables from the garden. For example, spinach, cabbage and carrots. It is a great idea to bring up this project.” Gerson Ulrab, Charcoal Technical Team, Namibia.

In some Namibian communities, they have built over 100 houses for the charcoal burners at camps where they work in the bush. The houses keep people dry, warm and safe from dangers such as snakes.

“The houses are very nice and keep the cold out. They are much better than before and now we even have proper toilets and showers. This is a good place to work. We like our homes and we get paid when we want. It’s not like some of the other places.” Joseph Katjirua, Charcoal burner Namibia.