Global Fairtrade Sales Increase By 47%
Worldwide consumers spent over 2.3 billion euros on Fairtrade certified products in 2007. This represents a 47% increase on the previous year and means that over 1.5 million producers and workers in 58 developing countries now benefit from Fairtrade sales.
Impressive growth can be seen across all product categories. In particular, sales of juices have almost quadrupled, sugar have doubled and bananas have increased by 72%. Coffee, the first and one of the most established Fairtrade products, continued to grow steadily with an increase of 19%. Fairtrade cotton farmers have also seen demand for their produce more than double in just one year. During 2007, the sales of items made out of Fairtrade certified cotton, ranging from cotton wool to jeans and towels, surpassed 14 million individual items.
The growth is the result of the expansion in existing markets and the opening of new ones. The value of sales in Fairtradeâ€™s biggest markets, the UK and US, grew by 72% and 46% respectively. Sweden and Norway were home to the fastest growing markets for Fairtrade with increases of 166% and 110% respectively. The highest per capita consumption in the world was in Switzerland where consumers spent an average of â‚¬20.8 on Fairtrade products in 2007.
New products were launched in different markets increasing the choice available to consumers. Fairtrade Austria introduced Fairtrade fresh fruits not previously available: pineapples, organic mangoes and organic avocadoes. In Canada, wine from South Africa was introduced. Fairtrade Flowers were launched in Italy, Sweden and the USA. In Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy and New Zealand, the first products made from Fairtrade certified cotton were launched.
The growth of Fairtrade is good news for farmers. The Fairtrade system delivers more to farmers and workers than financial benefits alone. Fairtrade standards encourage long term relationships between the producer and the buyer. This is important for producers to be able to plan for their future.
â€œI represent over one million people in Latin America who need the security of Fairtrade in order to continue living and working on their land with dignity,â€ said RaÃºl del Ãguila, a Peruvian coffee farmer, President of the Latin American Fairtrade Producers Network (CLAC) and a FLO Board member. â€œNo other certification system but Fairtrade guarantees that small producers get a decent return for their hard workâ€.
Another market development for 2007 was that companies in countries where there is no Fairtrade Labelling Initiative were able to sell products bearing the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark for the first time. The development of new local markets is great news both for Fairtrade certified producers and for consumers in countries where Fairtrade still does not have a strong presence.
But despite growing by an average of 40% per year over the last six years, there is still plenty of room and a clear need for further growth. An estimated 20% of the total production of Fairtrade certified producers is sold under Fairtrade terms.
â€œI represent producers in Africa. The increased sales is great news for our members. The Premium has enabled members to build new schools, provide clean water and improve health for their communities. However more is needed. Poverty remains the major challenge for producers in Africa. Some groups are still selling just a small percentage of their produce to Fairtrade. It is crucial to grow the Fairtrade market so that these producers can benefit more from Fairtrade sales.â€ says Raymond Kimaro, Chairman of the African Fairtrade Network (AFN), the association which represents African Fairtrade certified producersâ€™ organizations within FLO.
FLO and its member Labelling Initiatives are working to open new markets and identify new business opportunities for producers. As Rob Cameron, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FLO, says:
â€œThe phenomenal growth of Fairtrade demonstrates the groundswell of consumer support for Fairtrade. With global sales worth over 2.3 billion euros Fairtrade has come of age. For producers Fairtrade represents the difference between just surviving, and their ability to invest in their present and plan for their future.
But we are not complacent. There are many producers who are yet to benefit from the Fairtrade market. We must grow the market further if we are to expand and deepen the impact for producersâ€.