Fairtrade certified goods on the up in producer countries

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

'A really core part in producer countries is about supporting the domestic market. That’s something that really resonates in these markets, says Fairtrade International
'A really core part in producer countries is about supporting the domestic market. That’s something that really resonates in these markets, says Fairtrade International

Related tags: Fair trade

Consumers in producer countries are increasingly interested in Fairtrade certified products as a means of supporting their domestic economy, according to Fairtrade International’s annual report.

Reykia Fick, media relations manager for the standard-setter Fairtrade International, told FoodNavigator the year had seen growth in markets like South Africa, Kenya and India, where it had launched certified products to consumers in recent years.

“In terms of a marketing approach, a really core part in producer countries is about supporting the domestic market. That’s something that really resonates in these markets.”

Across all categories, ranging from cocoa, tea, wine, honey, fresh fruit and non-food, Fairtrade International certified products reached €5.5bn in global sales in 2013. Growth was seen in particular for sugar (22%), coffee (8%) and bananas (12%).

Fick said Germany, the second top market after the UK, was the “country to watch”​ with retail sales showing an annual growth of 23% reaching €650m. Meanwhile, US sales grew to €300m since the Fairtrade mark was introduced in the region in 2012. The report pointed to Czech Republic, Hong Kong and South Korea as other important emerging markets; all having doubled their annual consumer sales in this period. There are now over 30,000 Fairtrade retail products on sale across 125 countries.

Producers and purchasers

Fick said the increase seen in producer countries reflected the core values and aims of the organisation, saying strong domestic markets in these producing countries played a key part in empowerment and strengthening networks of farmer’s unions and cooperatives.

Fairtrade certified products launched to consumers in India in November last year with the aim of “promoting Indian-produced Fairtrade products directly to the growing Indian market to further benefit Fairtrade farmers and workers.”

A similar initiative in Kenya was seen with the launch of Fairtrade Eastern Africa in July last year. This attempt at promoting Fairtrade in local, producing markets was first seen in 2009 with the creation of Fairtrade Label South Africa.

German grassroots

Fick said Germany had “rocketed”​ into second place over the last few years. Asked why this might be, she said: “There have been some strong campaigns and some grassroots, local groups working to make their towns fair trade.”

She added that there had been some “major conversions”​ to fair trade and a number of commitments within cocoa which in some cases came into full effect in 2012 and 2013. 

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