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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Global Fairtrade sales taking off
Fairtrade logo
The distinctive Fairtrade logo is prominent in many UK shops
Global sales of Fairtrade products increased by more than a third to hit 758m ($1.38bn) in 2005, the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) has said.

More than 300 companies signed up for the global scheme last year, according to the FLO.

The body said that 508 producer groups in 58 nations are certified to supply goods under the scheme. Goods sold include coffee, sugar and fruit.

In the UK, Fairtrade sales rose by 40% from 2004 to more than 195m.

Certification mark

Ethical shopping has become increasingly popular in the UK. Earlier this year, UK retail giant Marks and Spencer launched a range of Fairtrade cotton clothing.

Under the Fairtrade scheme, producers receive a minimum price to cover production costs plus an extra premium for investment in social or economic development projects.

Luuk Zonneveld of FLO International said the scheme was of great help to producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"Increasingly, companies are knocking on the door of the labelling organisations because they want to have the certification mark on their products," he said.

Coffee is the commodity that has the highest percentage share of fair trade sales, with 20% of roasted coffee sales, and 4% of total coffee sales, accounted for by fair trade products.




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