Sales of Fairtrade products in the UK have increased by 12% to reach an estimated retail value of £800m despite households struggling through the recession, new figures showed today.
The Fairtrade Foundation said consumers had remained “staunchly loyal” throughout 2009, adding that the global economic downturn had meant a “desperate” year for producers in developing countries.
Harriet Lamb, chief executive of Fairtrade, said: “2009 was a tough year for everyone, but a desperate year for many poor communities and small farmers in developing countries.
“It is to the credit of the decent British and Irish public that they do care and, despite the recession, they are still voting with their wallets for fairness and want to change the indignities of an unjust trading system.”
The foundation is asking consumers to switch everyday shopping basket items for fair trade items during ‘the Big Swap’ over Fairtrade Fortnight beginning today, an annual campaign to promote awareness of the movement.