Oct. 22, 2012: Fair Trade Volume Grows

Retailers have seen double-digit gains in the sales of Fair Trade products in recent years, according to data from Fair Trade USA and SPINS. October is the ninth annual Fair Trade Month, which was launched in 2003 by Fair Trade USA, the certification organization. Fair Trade certification, which seeks to ensure that farmers and workers receive adequate compensation for their product, began with coffee in 1998. It expanded to tea in 2001, and now encompasses a range of product, from cocoa to sugar, produce, flowers, grains and apparel. Premium payments to producer organizations generated through Fair Trade certification totaled about $77.6 million through 2011. According to SPINS data, sales of Fair Trade product in U.S. food/drug/mass retail channels were up 41% through the 52-week span ending in the second quarter of this year. Coffee remains the top category for Fair Trade certified sales, with $188 million in volume in that time. Source: Fair Trade USA and SPINS