The increase came despite one of the most difficult economic years on record

The increase came despite one of the most difficult economic years on record

Consumers across the world spent around EUR3.4bn (US$4.2bn) on Fairtrade products in 2009, a 15% increase on the previous year.

The figures, published by the Fairtrade Foundation today (26 May), showed that the increase came despite one of the most difficult economic years on record.

“As 2009 began in the midst of the worst recession in 70 years, we worried that Fairtrade producers could lose sales,” said Rob Cameron, CEO of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO). “Instead, ... Fairtrade sales grew in all countries.”

Cocoa and sugar farmers experienced among the strongest leap in sales, 35% and 57% respectively, thanks in part to commitments by confectionary brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk, Nestle’s Kit Kat, Green & Black’s, and Ben & Jerry’s.

Coffee, the pioneering Fairtrade product, grew steadily at 12%.

Fairtrade also gained new customers outside of its traditional markets. Sales grew in Eastern Europe, South Africa, and many countries in the global south.

Strong growth was also recorded in established Fairtrade nations such as the UK, where growth hit 14%, and in the US where growth reached 7%.

In Australia and New Zealand, consumers increased their Fairtrade shopping by more than half (58%).

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