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Global fairtrade sales jump

Michael Jarvis's picture

Global sales of Fairtrade certified products have reached € 1.1 billion mark in 2005, according to new figures released by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. This represents an increase of more than a third over 2004 and a sign of growing adherence to the Fairtrade mark. Says Luuk Zonneveld, Managing Director of FLO International:

“The certification system behind the cheering person in the Certification Mark is absolutely independent from any interest, and this is what people trust.”

The new findings from FLO Internationall highlight the importance that one producer or retailer can make in this growing but still small market segment. In 2005, the Marks & Spencer’s stores in the UK switched all their coffee and tea products to Fairtrade. This alone is estimated to have increased the value of all Fairtrade instant and ground coffee sold in UK supermarkets by 18%, and increased the value of Fairtrade tea by approximately 30%.

Want to know the market share for fair trade bananas or coffee? Check the FLO Annual Report.

Comments

Great post, I mentioned it on nextbillion because it provides some interesting background for FairTrade issues.

Fair prices! And while waiting in the line I see a “Fair Trade Certified” coffee that on its label promises that its purchase will improve the lives of coffee farmers by insuring they receive a guaranteed “fair price for their harvest”. I could not resist such an enticement and I bought a cup of it. It was great, and like any truly good coffee it made my mind wander. What does a fair price mean? That the coffee grower can afford to send his kids to school, afford good decent healthcare, and buy a car? Or that his kids will not go to bed starving. I hope he gets at least the last. Or does fair in this context mean that he is getting prices that are fairly similar to those quoted for coffee on the commodities exchanges without risking being taken to the cleaners by some savvy distributors? Who knows? I finish up my coffee with a lingering suspicion that perhaps a fair price might still not be enough. Would it not be better to certify “unfair prices” or, in perhaps more marketing digestible terms “fair price plus 100%”? Whatever, at the end of the day, if I were a farmer, I know that I would much rather get European farm prices than fair prices. Extract from my Voice and Noise

Submitted by Helen Cooper on
Fairtrade means that the price the farmer received for his coffee will be above the costs of 'sustainable' production and will include a 'social premium' for investment back into his business, or in the case of small co-operatives, back into the community such as by investment in schools or roads etc. So while it may not be health care and a car it will be enough that he can perhaps send his children to school and wont need to convert his land over to cash crops. Have a look at the Fairtrade website for more info (www.fairtrade.org.uk for the uk) as Fairtrade offers so much more than just a bit more money :o)

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