Women, men and children around the globe spent almost five billion euros (€4.9bn, US$6.6bn) on Fairtrade certified products last year, according to figures released today 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.
Around the globe, retail sales of Fairtrade certified products increased by a total of 12 percent compared to 2010. In Fairtrade’s biggest market, the UK, shoppers spent 12 percent more on Fairtrade products. In Fairtrade’s first and oldest market, the Netherlands, Fairtrade sales grew by 24 percent.
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. In its first year with a national Fairtrade organization, sales in South Korea registered at €17 million. Products with the FAIRTRADE Mark are now available to people in more than 120 countries.
Sales grew steadily across all of the leading Fairtrade products: coffee by 12 percent, cocoa by 14 percent, bananas 9 percent, sugar 9 percent, tea 8 percent, and flowers by 11 percent.
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 in 2011. They spent this money on projects that they decided upon democratically, such as farm improvements, education, healthcare and community projects.
“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