Approximately € 5 billion (Kshs.515 billion) was spent on Fair trade certified products in 2011, according to figures released by Fair trade International.
In a statement, Fair trade International Executive Operations Officer Tuulia Syvaenen says the market share of Fair-trade certified products have hit decisive levels in a number of established Fair-trade markets. More than half translating to about 55% of all bananas bought in Switzerland bear the Fair-trade Mark.
“Fair-trade is the norm for millions of people around the globe. It is a part of the regular weekly shopping. And now sales of Fair-trade certified products are taking off in new countries, as entirely new groups of people discover Fair-trade for the first time,” said Syvaenen.
Meanwhile, growth of Fair trade sales in new countries is skyrocketing. South Africans spent more than three times more on Fair-trade certified products in 2011 compared to 2010. Shoppers there can buy Fair-trade products grown by farmers and workers in their own country. In its first year with a national Fair-trade organization, sales in South Korea registered at €17 million (Kshs. 1.7 billion).
Sales close to doubled in the countries with no national Fair trade organization present, to almost €75 million (Kshs. 7.7 billion). Products with the FAIRTRADE Mark are now available to people in more than 120 countries on all inhabited continents.
Sales grew steadily across all of the leading Fair-trade products: coffee by 12%, cocoa by 14%, bananas 9%, sugar 9%, tea 8%, and flowers by 11%.
Strong Fair trade sales are great news for the more than 1.2 million farmers and workers working at 991 Fair-trade certified producer organizations in 66 countries. In addition to the income they earned from sales of Fair-trade products, farmers and workers earned an extra €65 million (Kshs.6.6 billion) in Fair trade Premium. They spent this money on projects that they decided upon democratically. This included farm improvements and processing equipment, education and career training, community projects and healthcare.
“The strong Fair trade sales mean big wins for the farmers and workers trying to make a decent living,” explains Joseph Ayebazibwe from Mabale Growers Tea Factory in Uganda. “Thanks to support from consumers around the world we were able to invest in many business and community projects. And Fair trade doesn’t only help improve the living standards of producers; the impact also extends to the wider community. Fair trade consumers are supporting sustainable development across our beautiful continent.”