Fairtrade market experiencing explosive growth in UK and US

Sales of Fairtrade products are on the rise around the world, with the US leading the charge in ethical consumerism. New data showed that overall sales of Fairtrade products grew by 24 percent last year.

The report, released Monday, revealed that Fairtrade-certified products at mainstream retailers in the US grew by 26 percent, compared to 22 percent at specialty grocers and 16 percent at natural grocers.

Sales of Fairtrade products in the US in 2009 were pegged at $1.2 billion (€863 million).

Meanwhile, sales of Fairtrade products in the UK broke the £1 billion mark (€1.16 billion) in 2010, soaring 40 percent to an estimated retail value of £1.17 billion (€1.36 billion). That compared to £836 million (€971 million) the year before.

According to the number crunchers at the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK, that means that every day, Britons consume 9.3 million cups of Fairtrade tea; 6.4 million cups of Fairtrade coffee; 2.3 million Fairtrade chocolate bars, 530,000 cups of Fairtrade hot chocolate; and 3.1 million Fairtrade bananas.

News of the explosive growth in the Fairtrade market comes during Fairtrade Fortnight, which wraps up March 13 and encourages consumers in the UK to show their loyalty to Fairtrade products.

Last year's growth in the UK was propelled in part by major multinational brands making the switch to Fairtrade. Labels like Cadbury Dairy Milk, all Starbucks espresso-based coffee, Nestlé Kit Kat bars, Sainsbury's tea, and Tesco Finest Tea in that region entered the Fairtrade market in response to rising consumer interest and public pressure.

Kit Kat launched their Fairtrade version in January 2010, after succumbing to pressure by Fairtrade campaigns protesting unfair trading practices. The Ivory Coast, for instance, produces 40 percent of the world's cocoa and is one of the poorest countries in the world.

The company was also facing boycott campaigns over what protesters called misleading marketing claims of their baby milk products.

"The challenges of global poverty and inequality are more serious than ever, especially for the farmers who grow the coffee, tea, bananas, rice or cotton on which we depend here in the UK," said Fairtrade Foundation's executive director, Harriet Lamb. "This first billion shows the potential for change."

Easy accessibility and visibility of Fairtrade products at major supermarkets across the country contributed greatly to increased sales, added Cate Baril of Fair Trade USA.

"We are encouraged by the fact that in spite of the economic recession, consumers everywhere are embracing the idea that every purchase matters," said the director of business development, grocery and ingredients in a statement.

The US study, prepared in joint partnership between Fair Trade USA and industry research company SPINS, found that ready-drink coffee and tea led the way in sales growth by 39 percent. Coffee, the flagship fair trade category, also increased in sales by 33 percent due to the increased variety of fair trade coffees sold at major retailers.

The UK also expects to see the Fairtrade momentum grow into 2011, after securing new commitments from companies like Ben & Jerry's, and Green & Black's converting their line of products to Fairtrade.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Media Sales - £36,000 OTE

    £28000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

    Recruitment Genius: C# .NET Developer / Application Support - Junior

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business has an industry r...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

    Recruitment Genius: Transport Planner

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
    Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

    Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

    David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
    Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

    Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

    A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
    10 best DSLRs

    Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

    Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash