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Fair trade cracks billion euro barrier
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The organisation Transfair Germany has reported a record: for the first time, turnover of fair trade products in Germany exceeded one billion euros. Consumers spent 1.2 billion euros on fairly traded products – a rise of 18 percent.
Germans spent per capita over 13 euros
Outstanding growth of 25 percent to 17,000 tonnes was registered in the case of coffee, the classic fair trade product. This means that market share has increased to 3.8 percent. Fair cocao is, according to Transfair, no longer a niche product: 30,000 tonnes of beans were used in 2016, a plus of 110 percent. In the case of both bananas (over 72,000 tonnes and roses (383 million stems sold) growth in sales was 7 percent . In 2016, the Germans spent per capita over 13 euros on fair trade products.
Problems like fluctuating world market prices and climate change make fair trade more necessary than ever before, said Merling Preza Ramos, member of the board of the Latin American producer network CLAC in Nicaragua. “Climate change is impacting coffee cultivation and is forcing small farmers to make big adjustments.” He said training in cropping techniques facilitated by the producer networks is an important way of helping producers to prepare themselves for the consequences of climate change. Fluctuating world market prices also present them with a problem: “Last year, the prices were below the minimum fair trade prices in nearly 7 months. Given these severe ups and downs, farmers benefit enormously from the financial stability that fair trade beings.”
According to Transfair, fair trade currently involves 1.66 million members in 1,240 producer organisations. On the occasion of its 25th birthday, TransFair is developing, together with experts, a vision for the future of fair trade under the motto #HandelNeuDenken – Rethinking Trade.