Around three quarters (77%) of UK consumers are favouring Fairtrade products over other alternatives, new research has found.
According to the latest research by The Fairtrade Foundation, alongside retail analysts Kantar, UK consumers are being more conscious of their sustainability efforts.
It comes as nearly two thirds (64%) of the British public either agree or strongly agree that buying sustainably sourced food in the supermarket is worthwhile lifestyle change, as the Fairtrade Premium generated by retail sales of bananas, coffee, and tea saw growth in 2022.
As Fairtrade Fortnight is currently underway, shoppers are striving to become more sustainable as they are increasingly demanding ethically sourced products such as bananas, chocolate and coffee. For example, one in four British consumers now ‘always’ or ‘often’ choose Fairtrade products.
On top of that, more retailers are offering Fairtrade products as part of their value ranges. These include the Co-op’s Honest Value Range, M&S’ Remarksable Value, and Waitrose Essentials.
Additionally, Aldi and Lidl are the UK’s two biggest Fairtrade cocoa retailers, and Asda launched its Fairtrade aisle in its online store last year.
M&S cafés also launched new takeaway cups, featuring a design celebrating its commitment to 100% Fairtrade tea and coffee since 2006. The retailer contributes more Fairtrade Premium for Fairtrade tea and coffee growers than any other UK retailer.
“If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that the UK’s food stocks are dependent on supply chains that are, in turn, reliant on a whole host of complex factors operating smoothly in the background,” commercial partnerships director at the Fairtrade Foundation, Kerrina Thorogood said.
“The salad and fresh produce shortages that hit British supermarkets in February 2023 have served as a timely reminder of this.”
She added: “Smallholder farmers and agricultural workers overseas who produce the food we love to eat are already struggling with fewer resources and higher prices as well as volatility in commodity markets and downward pressure on prices.
“Now they are also having to deal with the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change, which shows no signs of slowing.
“There has never been a greater need for businesses to prioritise sustainability, ethics and fair pay for those in their supply chains. One way they can do this is by choosing Fairtrade,” Thorogood commented.
Head of brand and marketing at the Fairtrade Foundation, Jackie Marshall said: “Today, Fairtrade’s work – connecting farmers, businesses and consumers on the path towards sustainability – is more important than ever.
“Climate change, conflict and the global cost-of-living crisis are threatening marginalised communities in low-income countries, putting their livelihoods and the future of our food at risk,” Marshall commented.
“However, our research has shown that farmers who benefit from Fairtrade Standards, pricing and programmes are more resilient in times of global crisis.
“That’s why, this Fairtrade Fortnight we’ll once again be asking the British public and businesses to get behind Fairtrade so that together, we can continue to make the future as fair as it can be.”