Fair Trade certified products sold in the US increased dramatically in 2010, according to Fair Trade USA’s 2010 Almanac.
Over 9,500 Fair Trade CertifiedTMconsumer products are sold by 700 industry partners at 60,000 retail locations in the US.
Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the US.
What is Fair Trade? It’s a market-based approach that brings equity to our economy by helping small producers in developing countries sell directly to developed countries. We often hear of how little small producers earn when they grow coffee and the full range of goods that multinationals sell. Under Fair Trade, producers get a higher, fair price once they are certified to meet social and environmental standards of practice.
In 2010, record volumes of Fair Trade Certified products were sold, there was a dramatic increase in organic Fair Trade products, and new products categories were added. There was also higher brand recognition for Fair Trade Certified goods.
About a third of Americans are aware of Fair Trade, and even though they often cost more, their popularity is increasing rapidly.
Fair Trade USA certified nearly 109 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee in 2010, 62% of which was also certified organic. New categories include apparel, Mexican-grown green peppers, pineapples, vodka made from Bolivian quinoa and a wide array of herbs, spices, nuts, oils and extracts.
“As consumer demand for ethically-produced goods increases, we’re able to chip away at the cycle of poverty that grips farming communities around the world,” said Paul Rice, Fair Trade USA CEO. “Through their participation in Fair Trade, farming families have earned more than $220 million in additional income since 1998, $56 million of which will be invested specifically in community development programs that provide access to education and life-saving health care.”
Cocoa sales rose 67%, citrus rose 96%, and vanilla quadrupled due to recent commitments from major U.S. buyers. Two Fair Trade wines received 90+ scores from Wine Spectator, indicating significant increases in quality and recognition from industry insiders.
92 new producer groups joined the Fair Trade system in 2010, which represent 140,000 farmers. New business partners expanded their purchases as well, sourcing certified goods from 878 producer organizations in 70 countries around the world.
According to SPINS, a natural products market research firm, sales of Fair Trade-certified products were up 15.2% in the health food stores and 17% in conventional supermarkets. Top categores were coffee and tea, coffee substitutes and cocoa, soap, and snacks.
Products that experienced the most growth include nut and seed butters (425%), beans, grains and rice (74%), and energy bars (57%).
Source: Sustainable Business