Fairtrade sales climb by a fifth

Sales of Fairtrade products increased by 19 per cent in the UK last year to reach £1.5bn, despite the UK’s continued economic problems, new figures have revealed.

The Fairtrade Foundation said sales were also increasing around the world, showing consumers had an appetite for food traded on fairer terms.

The report, to mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, also showed that a growing number of firms are selling or increasing their commitment to fairly-traded products, including the Co-op, Nestlé, Divine, Tate & Lyle, Liberation Foods and Greggs.

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Michael Gidney, chief executive of the foundation, said: “Support for Fairtrade shows that, despite the economic recession, the public have an appetite for more traceable food that is traded on fairer terms with farmers, and smart companies are recognising this.

People are voting with their shopping baskets, and forward- thinking businesses are responding to this.”

The Co-operative reported that total sales of Fairtrade products in its stores had increased by 20 per cent, helped by a switch last year to 100 per cent Fairtrade bananas, and a 40 per cent increase in Fairtrade wine sales in the last quarter of 2012.

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