The increase in spend came despite one of the most difficult economic years on record

The increase in spend came despite one of the most difficult economic years on record

Consumers across the world spent around EUR3.4bn (US$4.2bn) on Fairtrade products in 2009, a 15% increase on 2008.

The figures, published by the Fairtrade Foundation today (26 May), showed that the increase came despite one of the most difficult economic periods on record.

“As 2009 began in the midst of the worst recession in 70 years, we worried that Fairtrade producers could lose sales,” said Rob Cameron, CEO of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO). “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.”

Cocoa and sugar farmers experienced among the strongest leap in sales, 35% and 57% respectively, thanks in part to 100% commitments by confectionery 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 also gained new customers outside of its traditional markets. Sales grew in Eastern Europe, South Africa, and many countries in the global south.

Strong growth was also recorded in established Fairtrade nations such as the UK, where growth hit 14% and in the US where sales increased 7%.

In Australia/New Zealand, consumers increased their Fairtrade shopping by more than half to 58%.