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Case #672

Britain's Fair Trade Movement is Expanding Rapidly


Fairtrade, backed by a vibrant social movement of people throughout the country, is giving thousands of producers in developing countries the chance to build a better future," says Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fair-trade Foundation. "The rapidly rising sales prove that consumers do care and are prepared to pay the true price for products they know they can trust, guaranteed by the Fairtrade Mark."

The Fairtrade Foundation was set up in the early 1990s by agencies including Cafod, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft Exchange and the World Development Movement to respond to the human consequences of collapsing world commodity prices.

Fairtrade now has 18 per cent of the UK roast & ground coffee market and the British public eat 300,000 Fairtrade bananas every day. There are 250 products from over 100 companies, and more than 300 catering suppliers nationwide offer Fairtrade products. The Co-op is pledging to double the size of its own brand range of Fairtrade products by the end of this year.

The Salvation Army, the UK's largest care provider after the government, is starting to make the switch. Towns including Oxford, Cambridge, Lancaster, York, Cardiff and Edinburgh declared themselves Fairtrade towns.


Fair trade principles are now becoming well known for Third World Products sold in Developed World countries. The fair trade connection is often used as a marketing tool for the products, thus reaching out in an educational way to people who might not otherwise be aware of socio-economic realities in the Developing World. Fair trade agriculture products are often grown organically too, which makes them doubly attractive.

In the case of Britain's Fair-trade Foundation, the products are being sold and distributed in a manner beyond grassroots and even more mainline outlets. Getting the Salvation Army, the UK's largest care provider after the government, on board will increase market demand for the products and this is positive.

The innovative approach of designating certain cities to be Fairtrade towns is powerful. It makes a direct link between the UK towns and the product suppliers. This, again, is a powerful educational benefit as well as an economic one - similar in certain ways to having a sister city relationship.
Location: UK
Action: Economic/Business, Education/P.R.
Setting: Developed World
Extent of Action: International
Issues: Human Rights, Agriculture
Year(s): 1995
Outcome successful
Source: Positive News (UK), Issue 39, Spring 2004


The Fairtrade Foundation, Tel: 020 7405 5942
WEB SITE: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk
Prepared By: sl, 12/04
Rating: 1
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