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February 27, 2012

UK: Fairtrade sales up by 12% in 2011

The Fairtrade Foundation has reported a 12% increase in estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products for 2011 to GBP1.32bn (US$2.09bn).

The Fairtrade Foundation has reported a 12% increase in estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products for 2011 to GBP1.32bn (US$2.09bn).

Cocoa and sugar saw growth of 34% and 21% respectively, while bananas, coffee and tea recorded “steady growth”, the Fairtrade Foundation stated.

The Fairtrade Foundation, the governing organisation for the Fairtrade mark in the UK, announced the results as it begins Fairtrade Fortnight which will see the customary mix of promotional events.

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight marks the launch of a year-long campaign which calls on the public to take “1.5m steps for Fairtrade”, representing one for every farmer and worker the Fairtrade system hopes to work with by the end of 2012.

As part of the campaign, a “Step-o-meter” has been set up on the Fairtrade Foundation website for people to log their steps.

“Fairtrade is an example of responsible capitalism in action. We believe that responsible businesses are those who don’t just tackle the company bonuses at the top but also take steps to ensure a fairer deal for the workers and farmers at the bottom of the supply chain too”, said Fairtrade Foundation executive director Harriet Lamb.

“The commercial reality is that forward-thinking companies are showing leadership in committing to Fairtrade, realising that, as well as it being the right thing to do, they need to invest in smallholders, developing better, longer-term relationships, to ensure the future supply of commodities like cocoa, coffee, sugar, tea, fruit and more.”

One notable ‘step’ announced at the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight is the move by Morrisons to switch all its sugar to Fairtrade, bringing Fairtrade’s share of the UK retail bagged sugar market to 42%.

Other steps include the Co-operative switching all its bananas to Fairtrade, promotions at Sainsbury’s on its ‘Basics’ range of Fairtrade products and new product development by companies like Cadbury with its new Dairy Milk Bubbly.

In addition, Masauko Khembo of the Kasinthula Cane Growers Association, which supplies Fairtrade sugar to the UK, will tour the UK during the coming two weeks, speaking about the benefits of Fairtrade to his community in southern Malawi.

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