According to surveys, consumers should be among the biggest fans of Fairtrade products. 91 percent of German citizens stated in a survey by the Federal Environment Agency that fair trade between rich countries and developing countries is “very important” and “rather important” for them. However, the statements are not reflected in the sales statistics.

Sales of fair trade products increased last year (2018). Nevertheless, the share of total trade remains low. On Wednesday, the Forum Fairer Handel (FFH) announced that sales of Fairtrade products in 2018 amounted to 1.7 billion euros. This corresponds to an increase of 15 percent compared to the previous year. Since 2010, Fairtrade turnover has more than quintupled.

Around 1.36 billion euros, i.e. a large part of the turnover was generated by products with a Fairtrade seal. With around 209 million euros, recognised Fairtrade companies that follow internationally defined fair trade principles accounted for the second largest share. The remaining turnover was accounted for by the specialist Fairtrade shops.

“However, this positive development must not hide the fact that an estimated 99 percent of the trade is still not fair,” said FFH Managing Director Manuel Blendin.

Expenditure on Fairtrade products

In 2018, every German consumer spent on average only around 20.50 euros on fair products. At 81 percent, food accounts for the largest share of these articles. Two thirds of the Fairtrade turnover was made with coffee. Clothing and textiles accounted for 9 percent.

Difficult growing conditions for smallholders in the Global South and disadvantaged smallholders in the North will be the focus of the forum. “With the death of the court, rural regions and cultural landscapes are increasingly disintegrating,” the study says. At the same time, the organic sector no longer offers sufficient security. “The increasing demand leads to a similar price pressure by the trade as on the conventional market.

Lidl withdraws Fairtrade promise

Managing Director of Forum Fairer Handel, Manuel Blendin criticizes the discounter Lidl. In September 2018, Lidl announced that it was selling only Fairtrade bananas. Subsequently Lidl is said to have tried to lower prices so drastically that it would no longer have been fair from the point of view of the FFH. Since all negotiations were unsuccessful, the Fairtrade promise was revised again in May.


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Link: According to the FFH, sales of Fairtrade products have increased.

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