Shoppers Supporting Fairtrade

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Fairtrade sales bucked the contracting grocery market trend and the falling pound to see volume growth across some of its core areas including bananas and coffee, whilst other areas like wine and gold also showed growth.

The increased volumes mean an estimated increase in financial premiums of around £5 million to total around £30 million that will go to farmers and producers across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean to allow them to continue delivering improvements for themselves and their communities. 

Mirroring the wider market traits sales of Fairtrade flowers remained level whilst sales of black tea showed a slight decline as shoppers turned away from Britain’s traditional brew toward coffee and herbal teas. Cocoa also mirrored the wider market trends with a slight fall, though the figures came at the same time the Coop announced its intention to source all their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, from their own brand chocolate bars to the sprinkles on their donuts challenging other retailers to follow suit as they did so. As the Foundation predicted Fairtrade sugar sales continued to decline due to changes in EU market regulations as it had warned in its 2015 report Sugar Crash though CEO Michael Gidney paid tribute to Coop for standing by their sugar cane farmers despite the challenges.

CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation Michael Gidney, said:

“Despite all the challenges and turbulence of 2016 which has seen the grocery market contract and the pound plummet shoppers are still supporting Fairtrade to deliver a better deal for the farmers who grow some of our favourite ingredients. Growth in some of our most iconic products such as bananas and coffee have continued, whilst new additions show the continued desire to make trade fair. Gold continues to grow from its small beginnings whilst more and more shoppers are raising a glass to Fairtrade wines.”

Gidney went on to toast some of the best new developments, including;

  • Mars’ first full year of Fairtrade Sourcing Programme cocoa 
  • Greggs increasing their commitment - now selling Fairtrade coffee, tea and bananas and new herbal teas;
  • Wine has seen growth including an expansion of Co-op’s Fairtrade range and also Tesco’s finest;
  • Starbucks launch of Fairtrade Seattle’s Best Coffee in the food service sector increased coffee sales additional to high performance of Fairtrade coffee in Greggs and Waitrose. 
  • Clogau Gold (UK’s best-selling jewellery brand) now launching a new range of engagement rings.

 

Fairtrade Foundation’s initial estimate for the overall retail value of the Fairtrade market 2016 suggests an increase of 2%, meaning an increase to £1.65bn in 2016, though Gidney was swift to point out the limitations of retail sales as an indicator of Fairtrade’s impact.

“Fairtrade continues to deliver a range of programmes to accompany certification.  Volume sales provides a better though not comprehensive reflection of Fairtrade’s impact than retail sales, not least as volumes increase the money paid to farmers through increases in Fairtrade Premium.” said Gidney.

Gidney was optimistic about 2017, highlighting Coop’s increasing commitment to certification through Fairtrade cocoa alongside Fairtrade’s continued expansion of its offers to business and farmers through new partnerships and programmes.

“Fairtrade continues to find itself in new unexpected areas that we never anticipated, from Moonpig to Interflora.” continued Gidney. ”As the traditional market continues to mature it’s exciting to see how new firms pick up the Fairtrade ideals and implement them. The support and desire for Fairtrade continues, and that, like the figures, speaks volumes for the future.”


 

 

Volumes

 

 

 

 

Unit

2015

2016

Variance

% Variance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bananas

Kg

232,530,293

245,489,301

      12,959,008

6%

Cocoa

Kg

37,401,540

36,379,941

      (1,021,599)

-3%

Coffee

Kg

21,740,536

23,390,330

        1,649,794

8%

Teas

Kg

9,504,717

9,263,415

        (241,302)

-3%

Flowers and Plants

Stems

120,095,494

119,743,965

        (351,529)

0%