Women, men and children around the globe spent almost 5 billion euros (€4.9bn, US$6.6bn) on Fairtrade certified products last year, according to figures released by Fairtrade International.
“Fairtrade is the norm for millions of people. It is a part of the regular weekly shopping. And now sales of Fairtrade certified products are taking off in new countries, as entirely new groups of people discover Fairtrade for the first time,” said Tuulia Syvaenen, Executive Operations Officer at Fairtrade International.
In Fairtrade’s biggest market, the UK, shoppers spent 12% more on Fairtrade certified products in 2011 than they did in 2010. In, Fairtrade’s first and oldest market, the Netherlands, Fairtrade sales in stores and restaurants grew by 24%. Around the globe, retail sales of Fairtrade certified products increased by a total of 12%. In Belgium the growth was more modest: 7%.
Market share of Fairtrade certified products have hit decisive levels in a number of established Fairtrade markets. More than half (55%) of all bananas bought in Switzerland bear the FAIRTRADE Mark. Almost half (42%) of all bagged sugar in UK stores will be Fairtrade certified following the latest supermarket commitment.
Meanwhile, growth of Fairtrade sales in new countries is skyrocketing. South Africans spent more than three times more on Fairtrade certified products in 2011 over 2010. Shoppers there can buy Fairtrade products grown by farmers and workers in their own country. In its first year with a national Fairtrade organization, sales in South Korea registered at €17 million.
Sales close to doubled in the countries with no national Fairtrade organization present, to almost €75 million.
Products with the FAIRTRADE Mark are now available to people in more than 120 countries on all inhabited continents.
Sales grew steadily across all of the leading Fairtrade products: coffee by 12%, cocoa by 14%, bananas 9%, sugar9%, tea 8%, and flowers by 11%.
Strong Fairtrade sales are great news for the more than 1.2 million farmers and workers working at 991 Fairtrade certified producer organizations in 66 countries. In addition to the income they earned from sales of Fairtrade products, farmers and workers earned an extra €65 million in Fairtrade Premium. They spent this money on projects that they decided upon democratically. This included farm improvements and processing equipment, education and career training, community projects and healthcare.
“The strong Fairtrade sales mean big wins for the farmers and workers trying to make a decent living,” explains Joseph Ayebazibwe from Mabale Growers Tea Factory in Uganda. “Thanks to support from consumers around the world we were able to invest in many business and community projects. And Fairtrade doesn’t only help improve the living standards of producers; the impact also extends to the wider community. Fairtrade consumers are supporting sustainable development across our beautiful continent.”