Fairtrade Partnership in Bury St Edmunds laments the loss of Co-op Food supermarket in Mildenhall Road
A Fairtrade group in Bury St Edmunds has reflected on the loss of a town supermarket which they said did a lot for the organisation.
Liz Bowden, a member of the Fairtrade Partnership group in town, has said the closure of the Co-operative Food shop, in Mildenhall Road, will be ‘missed’.
She said: “They were the ones that did the most for Fairtrade in lots of ways. They were just good for Fairtrade, not only selling it, but they were there promoting and helping the growers.”
The group would regularly set-up their stall inside the shop where they would promote Fairtrade products to the town’s residents and give out freebies provided by the shop.
Liz said this Co-op had the largest variety of Fairtrade products available, and now with the upcoming closure, it would mean there will be less outlets to promote Fairtrade.
“We don’t know if we would be able to find another supermarket that would be willing to do that, so we will definitely miss that,” said Liz.
Richard Stainer, chairman of the Suffolk Association of Fairtrade Towns, also expressed his sadness, but did say the Fairtrade group has received great support from other supermarkets, such as Waitrose and Sainsburys.
“I’d agree that perhaps there’s a less variety of products, but things like cocoa, tea and coffee are still very plentiful, but the Co-op closing means there is less support from our point of view,” said Richard.
He added: “The good thing about the Co-op is that they’re very proactive regarding fair trade so the loss of the shop that’s a hit in terms of the support we have.
“They have been very good to us in the past.”
Richard has said there is concern about the cost-of-living crisis but is encouraging people to continue supporting airtrade.
He said: “The farmers there are far, far poorer than us, so I think we need to try to support them where we can because they’re in serious trouble.”
The site is due to close on August 14, after the expiry of its lease. There was an approved planning application set for a Co-op on the nearby Marham Park estate, which never opened.