In one of the most difficult economic years on record, consumers spent an estimated €3.4 billion on Fairtrade products in 2009 – a 15% increase over the previous year.
“As 2009 began in the midst of the worst recession in 70 years, we worried that Fairtrade producers could lose sales. Instead, consumers across the globe bucked the trend and proved their deep commitment to giving producers a fair deal. Fairtrade sales grew in all countries,” says Rob Cameron, CEO of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), the global Fairtrade body.
Cocoa and sugar farmers experienced among the strongest leap in sales, 35% and 57% respectively, thanks in part to 100% commitments by global chocolate and confectionary brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk, Nestle’s Kit Kat, Green & Black’s, and Ben & Jerry’s. Sales in Fairtrade herbs and spices multiplied as FLO opened its scope to include all varieties of herbs and spices. Coffee, the pioneering Fairtrade product, grew steadily at 12%.
Fairtrade gained new customers outside of its traditional markets. Sales grew exponentially in Eastern Europe, South Africa, and many countries in the global south. Shoppers in established Fairtrade markets also bought more. The largest Fairtrade markets had strong growth: 14% in the UK and 7% in the USA.
These sales made a big impact for the 1.2 million farmers and workers now selling through Fairtrade. They benefited from stable, higher-than-market income including Fairtrade Premium funds for development projects. Coffee farmers invested €14.5 million and banana producers over €12 million into community and business development. Fairtrade producers belong to 827 organizations in 60 countries.
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