Fairtrade Sales in Australia Skyrocket
10 March 2011 at 1:58 pm
The sale of Certified Fairtrade products in Australia and New Zealand has seen incredible growth over the past year, following a decision by major confectionery companies such as Cadbury and Whittakers to go Fairtrade.
The sales figures for 2009 and 2010 show that Fairtrade Certified product sales have grown by almost 200% in Australian & New Zealand, from AU$50 million in 2009 to almost AU$150 million in 2010, according to Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.(FANZ)
Awareness of the Fairtrade label continues to grow significantly amongst Australians and New Zealanders, with 37% of the Australian public and 51% of New Zealanders being aware of the brand.
Fairtrade is a unique, independent system providing farmers with the security of fair minimum prices for their produce and additional investment for social, environmental and economic development in their communities.
FANZ says the most staggering growth was experienced by Fairtrade Certified chocolate, which saw sales grow by more than 1500%.
It says that for the first time Chocolate took over from coffee as Australia's biggest selling Fairtrade certified product, with Fairtrade chocolate sales hitting $87 million, compared to Fairtrade coffee sales of $50 million. In 2009, Fairtrade coffee outsold Fairtrade chocolate by more than 700%.
To highlight how rapid the growth of Fairtrade Chocolate has been in Australia – in 2008 Fairtrade chocolate sales were $3.4 million, by 2010 this number hit $87 million.
Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand says this surge in chocolate sales came after Cadbury and Whittakers announced their introduction of the Fairtrade Certified Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate range, and large Creamy Milk blocks respectively. Scarborough Fair also increased its range of 100% Fairtrade chocolate products during the period.
In September 2009, Pro Bono Australia reported that confectionery giant Cadburys announced it would go completely Fairtrade in its milk chocolate range, following lobbying campaigns by World Vision and the Oaktree Foundation.
At the time, Oaktree’s General Mananger Nick Allardice said the decision meant more than $500,000 would be injected over the following 12 months, however the real amount now appears far greater.
World Vision CEO Tim Costello said at the time the decision by Cadbury Australia to certify its Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate block as Fairtrade would directly benefit children in West Africa.
Costello said research in the Ivory Coast and Ghana – which together make up 60% of the world’s cocoa – revealed up to 80% of children in cocoa fields are being exposed to dangerous practices such as the unprotected use of chemicals, carrying heavy loads, brush burning and using machetes.
Coffee remains the biggest selling Fairtrade Certified product in New Zealand. In Australia tea sales grew strongly by 45%. Meanwhile the number of Fairtrade licensed businesses across both countries increased to 250 – a 15% increase on 2009.
Consumer recognition of the Fairtrade Label is increasing significantly year on year reaching 37% in Australia and 51% in New Zealand in 2010.
The range of Fairtrade Certified products available in Australia and New Zealand has expanded to include coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa products, sports balls, cotton, rice, sugar, and quinoa. Recent introductions were nuts, muffins, cakes, bananas and chocolate. This growth in product range has been supported by mainstream retailers and suppliers seeing the potential of Fairtrade such as Coles, Corporate Express, ALDI, Starbucks, Jamaica Blue, Woolworths/Safeway, New World and more.