Fairtrade products up 12%

FAIRTRADE PRODUCTS achieved double digit growth in 2011, according to the latest figures from the Fairtrade Foundation.


Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2011 reached £1.32bn, a 12% increase on sales of £1.17bn in 2010. Bananas, coffee, tea are all also showing “steady growth”. However, cocoa and sugar were the standout successes with growth of 34% and 21% respectively.


Many café and restaurant chains, and catering suppliers again use Fairtrade sugar, with commitments from Sodexo, Aramark and Compass. The Fairtrade campaign will receive another boost in the summer through the Food Vision for the London 2012 Games, which includes a commitment for caterers to use Fairtrade sugar across all venues.


The sales surge also means that Fairtrade Premiums, the extra that producers receive for business or social development, increased by over 10% in 2011 compared with 2010.


The figures come as the Fairtrade Foundation launched its ‘Take a step for Fairtrade’ campaign. This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (27 February to 11 March) will kick-start the year-long campaign, calling on the UK public to take 1.5 million ‘steps’ for Fairtrade – one for every farmer and worker the Fairtrade system hopes to work with – by the end of 2012. A special Step-o-meter has been set up so that everyone can log their ‘steps’ for Fairtrade.


Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Fairtrade is an example of responsible capitalism in action. We believe that responsible businesses are those who don’t just tackle the company bonuses at the top – but take steps to ensure a fairer deal for the workers and farmers at the bottom of the supply chain too.


“The commercial reality is that forward-thinking companies are showing leadership in committing to Fairtrade, realising that, as well as it being the right thing to do, they need to invest in smallholders, developing better, longer-term relationships, to ensure the future supply of commodities like cocoa, coffee, sugar, tea, fruit and more.”