Fair Trade Industry Thrives in US as Sales Flop in UK

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Fair Trade Industry Thrives in US as Sales Flop in UK

By Emily Crowe
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Must-read article: #FairTrade industry thriving in the US: http://fairtrd.us/1GNBl5S via @craftcarejoy #SFN #ExpoWest

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More and more Fair Trade Certified products are appearing on store shelves each year.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 3:35pm

CAMPAIGN: Fair Trade USA in the News

CONTENT: Article

For the first time in its 20-year history, the fair trade movement in the United Kingdom is on the decline. Thanks to a growing consumer interest in responsible food sourcing here in the United States, however, the certification is seeing growth across many categories, and is expected to continue its forward trajectory.

The U.K.’s Fairtrade foundation, which works to protect and empower farmers in developing countries, recently reported a 3.7 percent decrease in sales of certified goods.

Much of the decrease is being attributed to lower grocery sales caused by cash-strapped consumers, and a move toward cheaper chain supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl, which carry fewer fair trade items. A general drop in sales of tea and sugar in the U.K. is another reason for the slip, with sales of fair trade tea falling by 1 percent.

That dip in sales hasn’t extended stateside. In fact, Fair Trade USA has seen growth in fair trade cocoa, sugar, produce, apparel, and even home goods, chief impact officer Mary Jo Cook told Specialty Food News.

Fair Trade USA does not track sales, but it reported 350 new fair trade products were released across consumer packaged goods and apparel in 2013. That number jumped almost 30 percent to 450 new products released in 2014, a positive signal for the market.

A general desire for responsible, transparent product sourcing is expected to continue driving demand for even more fair trade products, especially among a younger group of consumers.

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