Source: Fairtrade Foundation
The Fairtrade Fortnight campaign runs all over the UK from 27 February to 11 March 2012. On the occasion of this large event, the good news were revealed that sales continue to outperform overall commercial trends with double digit growth in 2011. Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2011 reached £ 1.32 billion, a 12 % increase on sales of £ 1.17 billion in 2011. Cocoa and sugar have seen significant growth at respectively 34 % and 21 % increase over 2010. Bananas, coffee, and tea are also showing steady growth. Fairtrade premiums increased by over 10 % in 2011 compared with 2010. (Picture: Cocoa from Kuapa Kokoo, the largest Fairtrade cocoa cooperative in Ghana)
The theme for 2012’s Fairtrade Fortnight campaign is Take A Step for Fairtrade. A new briefing has revealed that in the sugar and confectionery industry, businesses are stepping up more than ever to meet sustainability challenges. One ‘step’ announced for Fairtrade Fortnight will bring Fairtrade’s share of the UK retail bagged sugar market to 42 %: Morrisons supermarket is converting its entire range of sugar to Fairtrade, supplied by Tate & Lyle Sugars. Brand manufacturers have also committed to Fairtrade sugar – like Divine Chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Kit Kat four-finger, with Maltesers also switching later this year. And ice-cream companies are also using Fairtrade sugar – like Ben & Jerry’s which has been rolling out a plan to convert all its ice-cream to Fairtrade this year and has introduced three new flavours for Fairtrade Fortnight 2012. Many café and restaurant chains and catering suppliers also use Fairtrade sugar, with commitments from Sodexo, Aramark and Compass. The Fairtrade campaign will receive another boost in the summer through the Food Vision for the London 2012 Games, which includes a commitment for caterers to use Fairtrade sugar across all venues.
One of Marks & Spencer’s ‘steps’ for Fairtrade Fortnight is to sell the first ever tea grown and packed at Iriaini, a smallholder group in Kenya. Other fresh ‘steps’ for Fairtrade Fortnight include The Co-operative switching all its bananas to Fairtrade, Sport Relief’s Fairtrade cotton socks, baby skincare company Organic Monkey’s Baby’s first steps to Fairtrade campaign, and lots of in-store promotional activity like Sainsbury’s basics range of Fairtrade coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cappuccino being on special offer. There is also new product development by companies like Cadbury, with new Dairy Milk Bubbly and Fairtrade pioneer Equal Exchange extending their range of coffees grown exclusively by women farmers.
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight has kick-starded a year-long campaign, calling on the UK public to take 1.5 million steps for Fairtrade – one for every farmer and worker the Fairtrade system hopes to work with – by the end of 2012. A special Step-o-meter has been set up so that everyone can log their ‘steps’ for Fairtrade - www.fairtrade.org.uk/step. More information is available at the Fairtrade Foundation