Fairtrade product sales goes up

Fairtrade product sales increased by one tenth globally last year because of ethical sourcing commitments from the food and drink industry and emphasised the importance of consumer awareness.

Fairtrade International released its 2011 annual figures today and reported about 5bn (in euro currency) in worldwide sales last year.

The company plans to secure a better deal for farmers in the developing world through its certification programme.

Vicky Pauschert, communications for Fairtrade, said that UK demand was too high because of a strong grassroots movement.

In 2010, retail sales for Fairtrade goods were high in the UK more than anywhere else in the world. Sales in the UK increased by one tenth last year with the market accounting for almost a third of global Fairtrade sales.

The organisation is upgraded in schools and universities and the organisation has set up Fairtrade partnership towns linking UK consumers to producers in the developing world.

Pauschert also said that Fairtrade’s worldwide increase was wholly because of the commitments from major companies.

Nearly half of all bagged sugar UK stores will be certified with the Fairtrade brand following recent commitments from supermarkets and Tate & Lyle.

Cadbury/Kraft’s decision to certify plain Dairy Milk bars in June last year in South Africa also helped Fairtrade sales in that market to grow whopping 283%.

Pauschert added: “Consumer demand in certainly on the increase. Even in the economic downturn people are still worried about where their products come from”.

Spain was the fastest growing market in Europe with sales going up at just over a third.

Gudrun Schlopker of Fairtrade Spain said that this growth was expected as the company started working in Spain six years ago and is one of the most recent brand-new markets in Europe with potential remaining for growth.

Fairtrade certifies a range of products from fruit, sugar, cocoa, coffee and tea.

Volume sales of Fairtrade dried fruit and fruit juices increased dramatically last year by 42% and 52% respectively.

Sales volumes of cocoa beans from Fairtrade certified farms grew 14% to 40,198 metric tonnes in 2011.

Leading chocolate manufacturers such as Ferrero, Mars and Nestle have recently pledged to source more cocoa from third-party certified farms amid growing pressure over the use of child labour in West Africa from human rights groups and the EU.

Mars has committed to sourcing 100% certified cocoa by 2020 and plans to collaborate with Fairtrade as a certification partner after recently certifying Malteasers with the organisation in the UK.

Pauschert also said: “We welcome commitments from big companies to source sustainably”.


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