Despite the economic downturn the demand for ethically sourced products continues to boom thanks to increased consumer awareness. In the UK alone the market for Fairtrade products now exceeds £1bn with over half of UK consumers purchasing these products at least once a month.
The tea market has experienced a number of issues in recent years with criticism of environmentally damaging farming techniques and declining prices. Tackling these issues has forced the industry to look at its long term sustainability. In 2011, Tetley began selling its Rainforest Alliance certified tea, this marked a major milestone for the industry and was quickly followed by PG Tips who were the first of the major industry players to offer Fully Rainforest Alliance certified tea.
Another well known brand to gain Fairtrade recognition is Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. The product was certified in 2009 and was the first product of its type to be awarded the recognition. The appearance of the Fairtrade logo on the packaging has been one of the key reasons behind its recent growth. The Globe Scan 2010 report states that 58% of people are more likely to purchase Cadbury as a result of its fair-trade certification. As a result of these findings Cadbury’s are now reviewing the possibility of moving more of their product range to Fairtrade.
Coca-Cola launched their PlantBottle packaging in 2011 to help decrease its reliance on fossil fuels. All Coca-Cola, Coke Zero and Diet Coke 500ml bottles are now sold in PET plastic bottles which are partially produced from plants. Coca-Cola is aiming to have all of its plastic bottles produced from a combination of Bio-Based materials and recycled plastics by 2020.
Nestle is another company investing heavily to move towards more ethically sourced products and is investing £65m over a ten year period to develop the quality and yield of cocoa plants. They also work closely with the Rainforest Alliance and the Fairtrade Foundation.
Fairtrade fortnight begins in the UK on February 27th and continues until 11th March. If you’d like to learn more about the Fairtrade Foundation or the Rainforest Alliance then please click on the links below.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.