Shoppers more interested than ever in Fairtrade, IGD ShopperVista research finds

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IGD: Fairtrade going mainstream

IGD: Fairtrade going mainstream

Shoppers are more interested than ever in Fairtrade, according to research from IGD ShopperVista revealed at the Fairtrade Foundation annual commercial conference in London today, 3 July 2013.

The research revealed:

  • More than a third (35%) of shoppers say they have specifically chosen to buy Fairtrade in recent weeks (compared with 9% who said this in 2006)
  • 37% would buy more Fairtrade if they knew where the money is spent or the difference it makes to developing nations
  • 18% would buy more if they knew more about how standards are monitored.

Presenting the research, IGD Chief Executive Joanne Denney-Finch said it was time to make Fairtrade the normal way of doing business: “Fairtrade is a movement whose time has truly come. It began on the fringes, but has been growing in terms of sales and support for many years. One in five shoppers expect to buy more Fairtrade in the year to come – and only one in 100 are expecting to buy less. I believe the ultimate objective now should be to make Fairtrade mainstream.’

“We can do this by fully embracing traceability and transparency; tracking every item through the chain and being even more open about how we operate. Three-quarters of shoppers would like to see more information about Fairtrade made available, so there is a good story to tell and a hungry public waiting to hear it.

“Shoppers have higher expectations about what they ought to be able to find out about products and what companies ought to be tracking. This represents a huge opportunity and companies signed up to Fairtrade have a great story to tell which will help build trust up to higher levels than ever before, but they need to take advantage of all the different ways to engage with shoppers to get their message across.”

At the conference entitled Survival of the Fairest: Staying Ahead in a Changing World, Fairtrade gave businesses a preview of innovative campaigns and projects that the Fairtrade Foundation are planning to launch in the coming months, enabling business to tell consumers the ‘Fairtrade story’.

In the autumn, the Fairtrade Foundation will launch a global ‘Power of You’ campaign focusing on coffee. The aim of the campaign is to take people on a bean-to -cup journey showing them the difference their purchase can make to farmers, workers and their communities in developing countries. The commercial campaign will be activated on digital channels such as Facebook and YouTube.

Fairtrade will further roll-out its interactive online question and answer project, Ask Malawi.tv, in 2013. Co-funded by Comic Relief, the project gives people in the UK an insight into the daily lives of Malawian Fairtrade tea and sugar farmers. Farmers use mobile video cameras answer your questions and tell their own stories. Now consumers can ask Fairtrade farmers anything they want and see where they live and work: no middle men, no scripts. For more information go to: http://www.askmalawi.tv/the-project/

“The IGD research shows that momentum is building in terms of how significant consumers regard the ethics of the Fairtrade supply chain to be, so we believe smart companies should respond to shoppers’ concerns by showing their increasing support for Fairtrade and communicating about their partnerships with producers,” said the Fairtrade Foundation’s Chief Executive Michael Gidney.

He challenged companies to go further in their sourcing and in working in partnership with the Fairtrade system to help make global supply chains more fair and sustainable for producers. “Fairtrade has always said that consumers do care and Fairtrade’s success in the marketplace shows more and more people are enjoying the more personal touch that Fairtrade brings,” said Gidney.

Around 130 delegate attended today’s conference, drawn mainly from representatives of fair trade companies, brands and major retailers.