Why Offer Fairtrade - The Business Case for Fairtrade

Fairtrade Cocoa

Since its launch in Ireland in 1996, the FAIRTRADE Mark has become established as a credible, independent consumer guarantee for products that help producers in developing countries get a better deal from international trade. Consumer spending on Fairtrade Certified products in Ireland grew by an estimated 16% in 2011 to rise to €159,000,000, up from €138,000,000 in 2010.  Ireland has now one of the highest per capita spends on Fairtrade Certified products anywhere in the world. The growth in sales has been driven by companies converting well -known brands to Fairtrade. The most recent product to announce their conversion to Fairtrade is Maltesers, which will be on sale by the end of summer 2012.

However, the recession has hit Fairtrade coffee sales which are down 6% in value compared to 2010 figures. On a positive note, sales of Fairtrade Certified bananas grew by an estimated 25% in 2011 to 3,250 tonnes and the bulk of these sales are with just 3 companies: Global Fruit, Fyffes and Smyths.The Swedish natural cosmetics company Oriflame, which has its research and development department in Bray in Co. Wicklow, launched its new Fairtrade Certified EcoBeauty range of 3 cosmetic products in Ireland during Fairtrade Fortnight 2012. The EcoBeauty range will be sold in over 60 countries worldwide and will bring significant benefits to small farmers of Shea nuts and coconuts in Burkina Faso and India.

Ireland has the highest number of Fairtrade Towns groups per capita of any country in the world. There are now 48 recognised Fairtrade Towns and Cities that have met the Fairtrade Towns and Cities criteria. The FAIRTRADE Mark currently appears on a range of products including coffee, tea, cocoa, fresh fruit, juice, honey, wine, dried fruit, nuts and sugar, and non-food products such as flowers, sports balls and cotton. The Mark can also be found on composite products that use these ingredients in conjunction with others that are not covered by Fairtrade standards. Examples of  these are hot chocolate drinks, snack bars, cakes and biscuits. The range of Fairtrade Certified products (products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark) is growing all the time.

Consumer research 

Results of an independent, Globescan market research survey in 2011 indicates that there is growing awareness of Fairtrade certified products in Ireland. It also states that Irish consumers believe their shopping choices can make a difference to the lives of farmers around the world.

  • Proven awareness - Recognition of the FAIRTRADE Mark continues to increase 
  • Willingness to purchase - Irish consumer spending on Fairtrade certified products rose by an estimated 16% in 2011 to reach  €159,000,000.