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Demand for fair trade on the rise

Demand for fair trade goods is increasing, according to a new study sponsored by Alter Eco Fair Trade. In fact, awareness and demand have grown by such leaps and bounds that retailers are having a hard time supplying consumers with enough fair trade goods. More than 70 percent of participants in the study, which was conducted in collaboration with researchers from six U.S. universities, were familiar with the concept of fair trade and noted that lack of availability is one of the biggest hurdles for consumers when trying to purchase fair trade. The study also included the following statistics.

Less than half of the participants interviewed reported seeing fair trade items where they normally shop)

One-third of participants said that the availability of fair trade products would influence their choice of retailer.

Although awareness is on the rise, consumers have only a vague notion of what fair trade actually means.

October kicks off the holiday season with -- not Halloween (though, that's on its way, too!) -- Fair Trade Month. This is a time to think about the implications of spending -- specifically, can we make more conscious choices to benefit not just us but other people around the world, as well? Our resounding answer is YES! To celebrate, we're featuring an update on what's new in fair trade in our October issue. (Or read last year's detailed feature on the history of fair trade.) And ... stay tuned for our annual Gift Guide in the December issue, which will highlight gorgeous fair-trade gifties from around the globe.

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