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US sees jump in Fairtrade confectionery sales

By Helen Glaberson , 11-Mar-2011

US Fairtrade chocolate purchases shot up by 19 per cent last year, according to Fair Trade US, a sales boom that has been seen across the globe for food and drink products carrying the ethical label.

Overall, US Fairtrade product sales increased by 24 per cent last year, announced the organisation behind the standard, Fair Trade USA,

According to 2010 data from data provider Spins, sales for Fairtrade Certified products in mainstream channels grew the fastest by 26 per cent, compared to specialty shops (22 per cent) and shops selling natural products (16 per cent).

“Today, consumers can find Fairtrade products in every aisle of the supermarket. Due to this broad availability, driven by more than 700 companies offering Fairtrade Certified products,” said the organization.

Global Fairtrade growth

Fairtrade products, especially confectionery items have been performing equally as well globally.

Australia also saw an explosion in Fairtrade chocolate sales as the category overtook coffee to become the biggest selling Fairtrade certified product in that market, according to Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand.

Stephen Knapp, Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand CEO, said that the outstanding sales growth for products bearing the ethical label was matched by a hike in Australian consumer awareness of the Fairtrade label.

The latest data from market analysts, Mobium, shows an increase in Australian shoppers’ recognition of the label from 23 per cent in September 2009 to 37 per cent in November 2010.

In the UK, Fairtrade retail sales reached their first £1bn, the Fairtrade Foundation announced last month.

UK Fairtrade sales jumped 40 per cent to an estimated retail value of £1.17bn in 2010 from £836m in 2009.

Sales of Fairtrade chocolate confectionery more than quadrupled in 2010 to an estimated retail value of £342m, making chocolate the leading Fairtrade product by value in the UK, according to the Foundation. Sales of Fairtrade drinking chocolate have nearly trebled to an estimated retail value of £34m, it added.

Eileen Maybin, a spokesperson for the Fairtrade Foundation told ConfectioneryNews.com that the Foundation expects more brands to be rolling out Fairtrade lines in the coming year and that those already involved in Fairtrade to expand on what they are doing.

The Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) recently stressed that there is enough volume of Fairtrade cocoa available to support more large brands switching product lines to Fairtrade.

A spokesperson for the FLO told this publication previously that confectionery manufacturers can secure large volumes of Fairtrade cocoa more easily by offering Fairtrade cooperatives a long-term commitment and pre-financing.

"This helps Fairtrade cooperatives to have the funds available to pay farmers immediately upon buying the cocoa from farmers, which builds trust between the cooperative and farmers and strengthens farmers’ commitment to sell their cocoa to the cooperative,” the FLO spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews.com.

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