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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 03:14 GMT
UK Fairtrade product sales soar
Coffee beans being harvested
Coffee is the biggest-selling Fairtrade product
Sales of so-called fair trade products grew by more than 50% in the UK last year, according to figures released by the Fairtrade Foundation.

UK shoppers spent 140m on goods bearing the Fairtrade logo last year.

The foundation said UK consumers now supported the concept of fair trade more than in any other country.

The scheme promises consumers that farmers in the developing world are paid a fair price for their goods - even when world prices are low.

FAIR TRADE FACTS
More than 800 Fairtrade retail and catering products are available in the UK
Around 150 Fairtrade retail and catering products were available in the UK in 2003
Britons drink over 3m Fairtrade hot drinks every day
Britons eat almost 500,000 Fairtrade bananas every day

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, welcomed the findings.

She said: "The British public showed overwhelming generosity towards the people affected by the tsunami.

"In the same way, when they learn about Fairtrade and the positive benefits for farmers in the developing world, the response is equally dramatic."

She added that millions of shoppers now chose to buy products with the Fairtrade mark to "make sure the farmers gain guaranteed benefits".

HAVE YOUR SAY
Fair trade should be the rule not the exception
Sadie, Sheffield

According to Fairtrade figures, coffee is the best seller, with Fairtrade beans ground at many high street cafes, including Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Pret a Manger.

Bananas, chocolate and tea also saw increased sales, followed by newer Fairtrade products including flowers, wine and cooking oils.

The Fairtrade Foundation says more than 800 products now carry its logo, supporting farmers across 49 developing countries.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The Fairtrade Foundation on why sales have risen



SEE ALSO:
Fair play to us
22 Feb 05 |  Magazine
Fair trade sales 'may hit 150m'
13 Mar 04 |  Business
How fair trade hit the mainstream
02 Mar 04 |  Business


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