Retail sales of Fairtrade products increased by 12% to £1.32bn last year, new figures from the Fairtrade Foundation have revealed.
Cocoa saw the greatest percentage increase, up more than a third (34%) on 2010, while sales of Fairtrade sugar rose by a 21%.
Premiums received by farmers increased as a result of Fairtrade sales, which rose by 10% over the previous year.
The news comes as Fairtrade Fortnight began this week with the theme ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’.
The fortnight highlights how businesses are stepping up more than ever to meet sustainability challenges and deliver a better deal for small-scale farmers and workers.
The foundation’s executive director, Harriet Lamb said:
“We believe that responsible businesses are those who don’t just tackle the company bonuses at the top, but also take steps to ensure a fairer deal for the workers and farmers at the bottom of the supply chain too.
“The commercial reality is that forward-thinking companies are showing leadership in committing to Fairtrade, realising that, as well as it being the right thing to do, they need to invest in smallholders, developing better, longer-term relationships, to ensure the future supply of commodities like cocoa, coffee, sugar, tea, fruit and more.”
To mark Fairtrade Fortnight, Morrisons is converting all of its sugars to Fairtrade.
The move will bring Fairtrade’s share of the UK retail bagged sugar market to 42%.
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s Basics range of Fairtrade coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cappuccino will be on special offer and all of The Co-op’s bananas became Fairtrade.