Fairtrade sales boom

As demand for ethical products grows, big-brand companies try to jump on the bandwagon.
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  • Updated:7 Oct 2009

01.Fairtrade sales boom

Last year Australians spent $23.4 million on fair-trade goods, indicating the demand for ethical products isn’t waning despite the economic downturn.

Ethical goods, such as those certified by Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance, include products from companies such as McDonald’s, Gloria Jean’s and Lipton. The most recent addition to the growing list is Cadbury Australia & New Zealand, which announced plans for its dairy milk products to be Fairtrade certified by Easter next year.

The move follows Cadbury’s decision to do the same in the UK and Ireland and will more than triple the amount of Fairtrade products sold in Australia. This will also triple sales of cocoa under Fairtrade terms for farmers in Ghana, increasing existing sales for farmers and opening up new opportunities.

The Fairtrade Association aims to encourage greater equity in international trade. For example, it contributes to sustainable development by guaranteeing coffee producers a price for their coffee that’s above the low market value, plus a premium for investment in community projects. It also requires certain environmental standards to be put in place.

“Every dollar Aussie shoppers spend on Fairtrade products helps create a better future for developing country producers, their families and communities,” says Cameron Neil, Operations Manager for Fairtrade Labelling in Australia & New Zealand (FLANZ).

In 2008, Fairtrade sales grew by at least 50% in seven countries, including Australia and New Zealand where it grew by about 70%. Major growth for Fairtrade products was recorded for all categories, including $17 million for coffee alone. Other popular products include chocolate, bananas, cotton garments and tea.

Neil says the number of Australian businesses licensed to sell Fairtrade certified and labelled products rose significantly in 2008, with more than 125 now registered with FLANZ.



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