US certifier of fair trade products, TransFair USA has said that it certified 18.7 million pounds of coffee during 2003, compared to 9.8 million pounds in the previous 12 months.

In 2003, 100 new companies signed up to sell Fair Trade Certified products and approximately 8,000 new retail outlets began selling Fair Trade Certified products for the first time, bringing the total to almost 20,000 cafes, restaurants and supermarkets nationwide, TransFair said.

Fair Trade Certified coffee imports have grown at a 75% average annual growth rate since TransFair launched the label in late 1998. In 2003, market growth accelerated to 91%, demonstrating increased consumer demand for Fair Trade coffee as well as the concept’s entry into mainstream distribution channels like Dunkin’ Donuts, according to TransFair.

In 2003, Dunkin’ Donuts introduced a new line of espresso beverages made exclusively with Fair Trade Certified coffee beans. The chain targeted more than 1,500 stores across New England for its initial rollout, and plans to offer the line nationwide in over 4,500 stores later this year. Also in 2003, Procter & Gamble launched a fair trade coffee – Mountain Moonlight Fair Trade Certified. 

Fair Trade Certified products guarantee a fair price is paid to growers.