New Research Reveals Success of Fair Trade in Europe

A recent survey, carried out in 25 European countries, shows that Fair Trade sales in Europe have been growing at an average 20% per year since 2000. The annual net retail value of Fair Trade products sold in Europe now exceeds € 660 million. This is more than double the figure five years ago. Fair Trade has thus become one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

Brussels, 20th February 2006

Fair Trade products can now be found in 55,000 supermarkets all over Europe and the market share has become significant in some countries: 47% of all bananas, 28% of the flowers and 9% of the sugar sold in Switzerland are Fair Trade labelled. In the UK, a market with eight times the population of Switzerland, labelled products have achieved a 5% market share of tea, a 5.5% share of bananas and a 20% share of ground coffee.

From modest beginnings in the 1950s, Fair Trade has expanded into a worldwide movement, benefiting more than five million producers and their families in developing countries. There are now over 2,800 Worldshops within Europe, stocking almost exclusively Fair Trade products imported by 200 Fair Trade organisations. The movement counts on the contribution of about 100,000 volunteers all over Europe.

Fair Trade is an efficient tool to overcome poverty and to reach the Millennium Development Goals. It gives producers a fair deal, not only by paying a fair and stable price for their products. Fair Traders also help their partners in the South to get better market access, to protect the environment and to comply with European standards. Long-term trading relationships and pre-financing are other important pillars of the Fair Trade system. In Europe, the Fair Trade movement has been instrumental in building up consumer pressure on coffee and banana companies to stop using forced and child labour and to look into their own business practices.

The research “Fair Trade in Europe 2005 – Facts and Figures on Fair Trade in 25 European countries”, carried out by Jean Marie Krier, is published by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels. It is available at
On 20th February at 19:30, the publication will be launched in the European Commission, Rue Van Maerlant 2. The invitation to the launch is attached.

For more information please contact:
Anja Osterhaus, Fair Trade Advocacy Co-ordinator
0486 322 086

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