Karma Cola Gives Ethical Kick to Soft Drinks Market
Karma Cola, a new ethical soft drink brand, is attempting to take on the
might of Cola-Cola with its Fairtrade and organic cola drink.
The company, which gives 3p of the cost of every bottle sold to cola nut
producers in Sierra Leone, now counts the UK as its second largest
market after New Zealand, where it was founded in 2012.
It sold 300,000 bottles of the cola in the UK during the first six
months of the year, and is on target to reach 600,000 by the year-end.
Growth has been driven by a rise in "conscious consumers", co-founder
Simon Coley said. "There's a huge community of people who follow
Fairtrade and organic products in the UK," he said. The business has
sent US $75,000 (£50,000) to Sierra Leone in the past three years, a
figure that is forecast to rise to US $500,000 by 2018.
The business is using the UK as a "springboard" to enter new European
markets. "The category has been dominated by one or two brands," Mr
Coley said. "We like being a challenger and the market is enormous."
The UK soft drinks market grew 4 percent last year and is now valued at
US $31 billion (£15.6bn), according to the British Soft Drinks
Association. Unlike Coca-Cola, which protects its "secret recipe"
formulation, Karma Cola publishes all the ingredients in its version,
which contains vanilla, roast barley malt, coriander, nutmeg and lime
essence, alongside a range of other Fairtrade and organic flavours.
"Everyone should know what they're consuming, especially when you're
putting it in your mouth," said Mr Coley. "People have never been more
open to companies that contribute to sustainability, and ethical supply
chains," he added.
Karma Cola is congratulated on its early success in the UK market. The
brand is catering to the ethical consumer with its range of organic &
fair trade drinks. It is also tapping into the fizzy drinks sector,
which is largely ignored by most organic and sustainable brands. Its
success in the European market will however largely depend on
The distribution challenges faced by organic and sustainable brands will
be covered in the upcoming Sustainable Foods Summit, hosted in San
Francisco on 20-22nd January. A pioneering organic beverages brand will
give a keynote on marketing obstacles. More details are on the
The Grocer / OM
Organic Milk Heading to China
The Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative
(OMSCo) has been awarded the license for UK organic exports under an
agreement reached between the UK Soil Association and Organic Food Development and Certification Centre of China
The co-operative is the first company to receive an export license from
the Chinese authorities. Organic milk produced under this license can be
supplied to organic processors wanting to export to China.
OMSCo plans to start selling organic milk to China next year. A
spokesperson said: "The partnership will allow a roll out of organic
dairy products in 2016, and with organic products in high demand in
China, OMSCo hopes to be able to announce some further developments in
this sector early in the new year."
OMSCo has been exporting to all main European markets since 2008,
helping to redistribute the UK oversupply, and, in the process, earning
its 200 strong group of farmers an export premium. Since 2011, the
cooperative has also been producing a percentage of milk and dairy
ingredients to the US National Organic Program (NOP) standard, giving
access to the American market.
The initial certification for OMSCo covers 15 million litres of organic
milk, worth between USD 10-15 million at port of export, depending on
the end product the milk is used in.
OMSCo is targeting the Chinese market for organic foods, the largest in
Asia. Demand for organic milk and dairy ingredients has been soaring
partly because the country has suffered from a number of food scandals.
The melamine scandal in particular has given China the largest market
for organic infant formula in the world.
Organic Monitor is hosting a workshop on export opportunities in the
global market for organic & eco-labelled foods at the Sustainable Foods
Summit (20-22 Jan, San Francisco). The latest market data
on the global market will be presented, whilst the business openings for
exporters will be highlighted.
details are on the
The Future Direction of Clean
Source: News Release / OM
ASDA Makes Sustainable Bananas Pledge
ASDA is to switch its entire banana supply to sustainable sources from
The UK retailer says that 93% of its bananas - the equivalent of more
than 700 million individual bananas a year - would come from Rainforest
Alliance-certified farms, with the remaining 7% sourced from Fairtrade Foundation
ASDA has previously sourced just 40% of its bananas from Rainforest
Alliance farms, facing criticism over its banana sourcing policy and
aggressive pricing tactics. ASDA scored just 49 out of 100 in a Fairtrade
Foundation survey last year, which ranked the major multiples on their
sourcing practices based on social, economic and environmental criteria
and the transparency of its supply chain. This compares with 90 for The
Co-op, 88 for Sainsbury's and 65 for Tesco.
Retailers such as Sainsbury's and The Co-op sell 100% Fairtrade Foundation
bananas, but ASDA said it was unique among UK supermarkets in making a
"public commitment" to Rainforest Alliance and called on its competitors
to "follow our lead".
The Rainforest Alliance focuses on ensuring sustainable livelihoods by
conserving biodiversity and is targeted more at farm management than the
farmers. Meanwhile, Fairtrade standards focus primarily on tackling
poverty and empowering growers.
"We have been working hard with our suppliers for three years to ensure
our commitment to sourcing bananas from Rainforest Alliance-certified
farms can be realised," said ASDA's chief customer officer, Barry
"The banana supply chain can be complicated but through our strong
grower relationships we know all the bananas we buy are from sources
that work to ensure effective environmental stewardship and help workers
enjoy safe working conditions."
The future direction of eco-labels - such as Organic, Fairtrade,
Rainforest Alliance, etc. - are regularly debated at the Sustainable Foods Summit.
The North American edition of this executive summit will be hosted in
San Francisco on 20-22 January. In 2016, there will be other editions in Europe
(Amsterdam) on June 9-10th, and Latin America (Sao Paulo) on 29-30th