September 19, 2008

Fairtrade Sales Rise Despite Economic Troubles


FAIRTRADE goods are becoming increasingly popular with shoppers despite the economic slowdown, figures have revealed .

Consumers have remained loyal to buying goods accredited by the Fairtrade charity, which helps tackle poverty in developing countries, as sales increased by 55per cent.

Meanwhile, defiant shoppers also confounded expectations last month, as official figures yesterday revealed a surprise leap in retail sales.

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "This continuing uplift in sales is great news and shows the public is still taking Fairtrade to heart.

"Every day in shops up and down the country consumers are becoming the champions of change. Times are tough for everyone, but producers need Fairtrade now more than ever.

"In Kenya recently, a farmer told me that a bag of maize had increased by 100per cent. On top of this, farmers are struggling to pay soaring fuel and fertiliser costs.

"Fairtrade offers people a ladder out of poverty Business needs to play its part in offering farmers a market in the UK, so opening the way for more farmers to sell their goods on fairer terms."

The Fairtrade Foundation's annual conference entitled Tipping the Balance, announced that trade grew for April to June 2008 to an estimated GBP176m from GBP113m in the same period last year.

Ms Lamb added: "The scale and level of poverty worldwide demands that businesses and consumers urgently need to play their part to scale up Fairtrade and in these tough economic times, people in developing countries who typically spend more than 50per cent of their income on food, are the most severely affected."

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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