Global survey shows UK leads the way on Fairtrade
A global survey released today demonstrates that public support for Fairtrade is still on the rise worldwide with shoppers increasingly expecting businesses to be more accountable and fair in dealing with producers in developing countries. And support for the Fairtrade proposition is holding up well in the UK despite the difficult economic times where UK consumers appear more focused on themselves and on domestic issues in 2011. Half of UK consumers say that they regularly purchase Fairtrade products at least once a month.
The comprehensive global study of 17,000 consumers carried out for Fairtrade International by international opinion research consultancy GlobeScan also showed that Fairtrade is the most widely recognised ethical label globally. Nearly six in ten consumers (57%) across the 24 surveyed countries have seen the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark, with highest recognition in the UK.
The presence of the FAIRTRADE Mark continues to make a positive impact on consumers’ impression of a brand, higher than any other ethical certification mark. Over three quarters of shoppers believe it is not enough for companies to do no harm - some 79% worldwide, and 83% of UK consumers, say that they look to companies they deal with to help in reducing poverty through the way they do business. While UK consumers’ top expectations of companies are for safe products, fair pay, and safe working conditions, still a desire for companies to contribute to community development follows close behind with 80% of people saying this is important to them, up from 73% in 2010.
Consumer trust in Fairtrade is at an all time high in the UK (90%) and word of mouth is a key way of finding out about Fairtrade with 56% saying they would recommend Fairtrade products to family and friends, second only to the information consumers see on packaging and labels. Seventy-seven percent of those familiar with the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK strongly associate it with helping farmers and workers in poor countries tackle poverty.
“With so much in flux in the world at the moment, people now expect businesses to take their social and environmental responsibilities even more seriously. More than that, it’s clear that a significant segment of the public are willing to put the weight of their own shopping baskets behind Fairtrade’s principles of equity and justice in trade. Where they can, shoppers will reward companies that do the right thing, and more than ever seem prepared to influence others with their opinions,” says Barbara Crowther, Director of Communications and Policy, Fairtrade Foundation.
Six out of ten consumers globally and in the UK (59%) believe their own shopping choices can make a real difference to the lives of farmers and workers in poorer countries. In the UK, coffee is the most visible category for Fairtrade, followed by chocolate and bananas, then tea, sugar, and cotton products.
Almost three quarters of shoppers (72%) globally, and 76% in the UK, believe independent certification is the best way to verify a product’s ethical claims.
If a Fairtrade option were available alongside non-labelled alternatives, 59% of UK consumers says they would prefer to buy Fairtrade bananas, 48% would prefer to buy Fairtrade sugar, 42% would prefer to buy Fairtrade chocolate, 42% would prefer to buy Fairtrade dried fruit and nut, 40% would prefer to buy Fairtrade tea, 39% would prefer to buy Fairtrade coffee, 37% would prefer to buy Fairtrade flowers, 33% would prefer to buy Fairtrade cotton products and 22% would prefer to buy Fairtrade wines.
“These figures send a very strong message to companies that, despite tough times economically, there is still a strong body of shoppers out there who identify with the values of Fairtrade and want business to play fair,” continues Barbara Crowther.
These levels of awareness, confidence and trust are consistent with people’s action, as sales of Fairtrade products continue to grow quickly around the world. Shoppers spent €4.36 billion globally on Fairtrade products in 2010, up by 28 percent from €3.39 in 2009. Consumers tripled their Fairtrade purchases in Czech Republic (386%), South Africa (315%) and Australia and New Zealand (258%). Sales of Fairtrade products soared by 40% in 2010 to an estimated retail value of £1.17bn compared with £836m in 2009 in the UK, Fairtrade’s largest market.
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Notes to Editors: About the Survey:
The study was based on a quantitative survey delivered to a random sample of adult consumers using available online panels in each country. The survey countries included: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Fieldwork was conducted between 23 February 2011 and 24 June 2011. The total number of interviews per country ranged from 500 to 1,500. Tracking countries from the 2008 survey included: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. The international FAIRTRADE Certification Mark was tested in all countries except for the USA, where the local label was tested.
About Fairtrade International (FLO):
Fairtrade is a global movement and product certification with a people first approach to trade. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers a better deal and an opportunity to improve their lives and invest in their future. Over 6 million people (farmers, workers and their family members) in 60 countries directly benefit from the international Fairtrade system. National Fairtrade organizations promote Fairtrade to consumers in 25 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia/New Zealand.
Fairtrade International is a global non-profit organization that works with farmers and workers to improve lives through fairer trade. We lead the Fairtrade system, develop the Fairtrade Standards and support producers. Fairtrade International owns the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark, a registered trademark recognized around the world.
For more information visit www.fairtrade.net
GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its quality management system, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact.
Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco.
For more information visit www.GlobeScan.com