Fairtrade Reaches Milestone
10 September 2014 at 10:38 am
Shoppers globally are continuing to reach for Fairtrade labelled products in growing numbers including in Australia and New Zealand, according to a new report by Fairtrade International.
Described as the world’s leading ethical label the report found consumer sales of Fairtrade certified products hit €5.5 billion (US$7.3 billion) worldwide in 2013.
The trend was mirrored locally, in Australia and New Zealand, where retail sales of Fairtrade Certified products such as coffee, tea and chocolate grew by 11 per cent totalling over $259.3 million.
“After five years of intense focus on Africa, Fairtrade is now turning its attention to expanding in the Asian region,” Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand said.
“Australia has a vitally important role to play in scaling up the Fairtrade market in Asia Pacific, growing the number of producers and developing the supply chains for Fairtrade products.”
Harriss Olson said Australia recently received its first shipment of Fairtrade Certified cocoa from Papua New Guinea and there are commitments for 800 metric tonnes of cocoa in the pipeline via Fairtrade sourcing programs.
“The number of Pacific co-operatives has grown by 50 per cent across Fiji, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Samoa, with more due to come online soon.
“Australians continue to increase their Fairtrade purchases, with 17 per cent of Australians now purchasing Fairtrade Certified products at least once a month.
“A number of major retailers are looking to increase their Fairtrade commitments and National Australia Bank (NAB) is the largest accredited Fairtrade business in the world. So there is enormous potential here in Australia to transform the lives of some of the poorest people in our region,” Harriss Olson said.
Fairtrade International also reported a number of initiatives aimed at opportunities for the people at the far end of the supply chain – now more than 1.4 million farmers and workers, belonging to 1210 producer organisations in 74 countries.
“We’re matching growth in the market with new approaches to deepen impact for farmers and workers. Over the past year we introduced new living wage benchmarks, piloted community-based approaches to prevent child labour, and supported local trade unions to negotiate with employers,” Chief Executive of Fairtrade International, Harriet Lamb said.
“Fairtrade is about empowerment and long-term development, as farmers and workers transform deeply ingrained problems step-by-step to build a better future for themselves, their families and communities,” said Marike de Peña, Chair of the Fairtrade International Board and director of a banana cooperative in the Dominican Republic.
“We are changing the rules of trade to enable producers and workers to map out their own future,” Harriss Olson said.
Read the report here.