The Co-operative is continuing to lead the way in Fairtrade product originality with 1st-to-market bean sprouts that have be grown from Fairtrade mung beans. Bean sprouts - eat widely in Chinese cooking such as stir-fries - are grown from mung beans, which are widely cultivate in China.
For the first time, a group of growers in Inner Mongolia have been particular Fairtrade accreditation, which means they will accept a fair price for their mung beans, as well as a Fairtrade premium. The Jurihe/Zhaluteqi farmer organization is placed near Tong Liao City in Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia is the third biggest part of China and one of China's poorest rural areas. Families in the Jurihe village are chiefly in need. Many children do not get a basic education, as schools are old and ill ready and the children have to walk more than an hour to achieve the school. In winter, temperature is below minus 20 degrees Celsius.
The Fairtrade premium will allow the village to develop education conveniences and the situation of local schools, as well as providing materials and gear. It will also support local families by funding things for their houses such as heaters and warm clothes for winter. After the mung beans are harvest by the growers, they are hand-sorted and transported by sea to the UK, where they are grown into bean sprouts and packed for The Co-operative.
The bean sprouts, which have a limited sill life, are grown in the UK to ensure best freshness, whilst avoid the use of air freight.