Support for Fairtrade is on the rise
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Ahead of World Fair Trade Day on 9 May, the first ever global consumer survey on Fairtrade shows that shoppers increasingly expect companies to be more accountable and fair in dealing with producers in developing countries. The survey by GlobeScan was commissioned by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International with a sample size of 14,500 in 15 countries including the UK. Among those surveyed, almost three quarters of shoppers believe it is not enough for companies to do no harm, but that they should actively support community development in developing countries.
‘Active ethical consumers’ make up more than half the population (55 %) in the countries surveyed. Half of the public (50 %) in the fifteen countries surveyed are now familiar with the Fairtrade Certification Mark, or in North America the Fair Trade Certified label. Of these people, nine out of ten (91 %) trust the label. 64% of all consumers believe that Fairtrade has strict standards, a quality that also closely correlates to consumer trust. Almost three quarters of shoppers (72 %) believe independent certification is the best way to verify a product’s ethical claims. These levels of awareness and trust are consistent with people’s action, as sales indicators show more people are shopping for Fairtrade. Sales were up in 2008 (as compared with 2007) by 24 % in Austria, by 40 % in Denmark, by 57 % in Finland, by 22 % in France, by 75 % in Sweden, by 43 % in the UK and by 10 % in the USA. Even where the rate of growth has slowed, sales have not fallen back in any country. 32 % of people learn about Fairtrade through family, friends and work colleagues, whilst 16 % hear about it through education, community and faith groups. Broadcast and news media account for how 33 % people learn about Fairtrade. People learn about new products and concepts from their own social groups and contacts – a key ripple effect for Fairtrade.
The UK has the highest level of awareness with 82 % of people saying they recognize the Fairtrade Mark. Of these people, 94 % say they trust the Fairtrade Mark. 77 % believe that Fairtrade has strict standards and again more than three quarters of shoppers, 77 % believe independent certification is the best way to verify a product’s ethical claims. Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in the UK topped 700 million £ in 2008.
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