The Fairtrade Foundation has this week announced that sales of Fairtrade products rose by 40 per cent in 2010 to the retail value of £1.17 billion.
Fairtrade chocolate confectionary is the leading product in the range in the UK, with sales quadrupling during the last year to an estimated £342 million.
Many of the UK’s major grocers have helped the brand’s success by making some of their own-brand products Fairtrade, such as Sainsbury’s tea, coffee and sugar, Morrison’s roast and ground coffee and Tesco’s Finest Tea.
Estimates suggest that every day in the UK some 9.3 million cups of Fairtrade tea, 6.4 million cups of Fairtrade coffee, 2.3 million chocolate bars, 530,000 cups of Fairtrade drinking chocolate and 3.1 million Fairtrade bananas are consumed.
Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade Foundation’s Executive Director, said: “It is fantastic to break the first billion.
“Fairtrade is going from strength to strength because the public want it, it makes business sense, and most importantly because it’s working for the millions of farmers, workers and their families who see Fairtrade as their lifeline in these tough times.
“They’ll be cheering to know that UK shoppers and businesses still care.”
By offering higher prices for natural products imported from third world countries, Fairtrade attempts to lift exporters out of poverty.
Yesterday marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 with several leading retailers committing to using more Fairtrade products and a large marketing campaign getting under way.
The Co-operative announced at the launch of it new corporate social responsibility plan that it will convert all of its commodities that can be Fairtrade to Fairtrade by 2013, Topshop has launched a new range of Fairtrade denim, and Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and TK Maxx have all also made pledges to the cause.