UK grocery retailer Sainsbury’s has seen sales of Fairtrade products jump by 27% over the past year.

The retailer said today (14 February) that sales of Fairtrade products have continued to rise “despite pressure on household spending” to reach GBP276m (US$441.2m).

Sainsbury’s, which claims to be the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade products, said that all full-size hollow Easter Eggs will be Fairtrade certified this year, and that it plans to convert all of its standard tier and Taste the Difference chocolate to Fairtrade within the year.

Sainsbury’s head of Fairtrade Liz Jarman said: “Fairtrade sales are going from strength to strength as customers continue to look for affordable ethical products when they shop. We were ahead of the curve when we converted our bananas to 100% Fairtrade in 2007, and since then, many of the branded manufacturers have followed our lead.

“We are absolutely focused on providing Fairtrade to our customers for free. So where Fairtrade is the only own-brand option in our stores, as is the case with bananas, we make sure that our prices remain on a par with those of our non-Fairtrade competitors. This encourages customers to continue to shop with us and to continue to buy Fairtrade.”