Technology/Equipment

Funeralcare unveils first-ever fairly traded coffins

The Co-operative Funeralcare has unveiled the first-ever Traidcraft-endorsed fairly traded coffins.

As part of its ethical strategy, the Co-operative Funeralcare has worked in partnership with fair trade organisation Traidcraft to produce fairly traded coffins.

Produced in Bangladesh, the handcrafted bamboo and willow coffins are crated at a production facility close to where the raw material bamboo is grown.

Those working in the manufacturing facility and growing the bamboo will directly benefit from the fairly traded coffin endorsement, which ensures decent working conditions, payment of a fair price and fair terms of payment to suppliers.

“The growing consumer choice of ethical products and rise of personalisation in funerals is driving interest in such products,” said The Co-operative Funeralcare’s head of marketing Lorinda Robinson.

“The Co-operative has a long tradition of leading the way on fair trade and the launch of the first- ever Traidcraft-endorsed fairly traded coffin range at our funeral homes is a natural, if unusual, progression.

“The coffins are of the highest quality and the fairly traded coffin endorsement will guarantee that the producers in Bangladesh directly benefit, as Traidcraft independently verifies that they work in decent working conditions and receive a fair price.”

Research by the Co-operative Funeralcare showed that one in 20 coffins are now bespoke, while its parent company’s ‘Ethical Consumer Markets Report’ revealed that green funerals had grown by 20 per cent in 2011.

Traidcraft’s marketing director Larry Bush added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Co-operative in a brand new area of fair trade. We have a strong track record of working together with the Co-operative Group to launch fair trade firsts.

“We are particularly pleased to be involved in this initiative which is providing hope for the future in a region of Bangladesh which has been blighted by extreme poverty.”

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