Worldwide consumers spent over €2.3bn on Fairtrade certified products in 2007, a 47 per cent increase on the previous year, according to figures from Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO).
Total sales volume for sugar rose from 2000 metric tonnes (MT) in 2004 to over 14000 MT in 2007.
Total sales volume for cocoa had been rising consistently from over 4000 MT in 2004 to just under 8000 MT in 2006 but slipped to just over 7000MT in 2007.
These figures largely complement those published earlier this month by the UK Fairtrade Foundation, which suggested that 70 per cent of UK consumers recognise the Fairtrade mark in 2008, compared to 57 per cent last year.
Awareness of Fairtrade sugar among the UK public had doubled from 6 per cent in 2007 to 12 per cent in 2008. Awareness of Fairtrade chocolate had risen from 24 per cent of survey respondents in 2007 to 32 per cent this year.
Fairtrade Sugar and Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle announced in February this year that it was to convert its entire retail sugar range to Fairtrade in the largest fair-trade switch every made by a UK company.
The company said that it would first convert its Granulated White Cane Sugar line to the scheme. But by the end of next year it hopes to have converted all its retail cane sugar range to Fairtrade.
Tate & Lyle worked in partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation to help cane farmers in Belize to meet Fairtrade standards.
Candy-makers and Fairtrade sugar
Candy-makers are using Fairtrade sugar to earn the Fairtrade mark. For example, Buchanans of Scotland is advertising ten Fairtrade products on its website made, the company says, from sugar produced by the Kasinthula Cane Growers Association, Malawi. Morrisons own-brand sweets from Fairtrade sugar were sourced from the same Association.
A spokesperson at the Fairtrade Foundation confirmed earlier to ConfectioneryNews.com that the take up for candy had been slow to start but an increasing number of products are now beginning to carry the Fairtrade mark.
FLO puts the growth of Fairtrade in 2007 down to an expansion in existing markets and the opening of new ones.
According to the organisation, the value of sales in Fairtrade's biggest markets, the UK and US, grew by 72 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.
The fastest growing markets were Sweden and Norway with increases of 166 per cent and 110 per cent respectively. The highest per capita consumption in the world was in Switzerand where consumers spent an average of €20.8 on Fairtrade products in 2007.
New products were launched in different markets increasing consumers' choice.
Also companies in countries where there is no Fairtrade Labelling Initiative were able to sell products with the Fairtrade Certification Mark for the first time. "The development of new local markets is great news both for Fairtrade certified producers and for consumers in countries where Fairtrade still does not have a strong presence," said FLO.
Rob Cameron, CEO of FLO commented: "The phenomenal growth of Fairtrade demonstrates the groundswell of consumer support for Fairtrade. With global sales worth over 2.3bn euros Fairtrade has come of age."