Fair Trade product sales jump 15%

by Jeff Gelski
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BONN, GERMANY — Consumers spent an estimated €3.4 billion ($4.2 billion) on Fair Trade products in 2009, which marked a 15% increase from the previous year, according to Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. Fair Trade sales grew in the two biggest markets — 7% in the United States and 14% in the United Kingdom.

Sales of Fair Trade sugar rose 57% while cocoa sales grew 35%. Commitments from such chocolate and confectionery brands as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Nestle’s Kit Kat, Green & Black’s, and Ben & Jerry’s fueled the growth in Fair Trade sugar and cocoa. Fair Trade coffee sales increased 12%.

“As 2009 began in the midst of the worst recession in 70 years, we worried that Fair Trade producers could lose sales,” said Rob Cameron, chief executive officer of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. “Instead, consumers across the globe bucked the trend and proved their deep commitment to giving producers a fair deal. Fair Trade sales grew in all countries.”

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