High Trust and Global Recognition Makes Fairtrade an Enabler of Ethical Consumer Choice

Shopping Choices Can Make a Positive Difference to Farmers and Workers in Developing Countries: Global Poll

11 October 2011 – Fairtrade is cementing its position as a market leader in ethical labels and a trusted brand across 24 countries, according to a comprehensive global study of 17,000 consumers carried out for Fairtrade International by international opinion research consultancy GlobeScan.
The study showed that Fairtrade is the most widely recognized ethical label globally. Nearly six in ten consumers (57%) across the 24 surveyed countries have seen the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark. Recognition has increased by six points to 65 percent in the 15 main tracking countries since the study was first conducted in 2008. More than 80 percent of consumers recognize the Mark in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria and Finland.
This visibility together with a high level of trust enables consumers to have confidence in the choices they make: more than six in ten consumers (64%) globally say they trust the FAIRTRADE Mark. The more familiar people are with Fairtrade, the more they trust it. Nine in ten consumers who recognize the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark regard it as a trusted label.
When asked if a branded product that they normally buy began carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark, eight in ten consumers (79%) say it would have a positive impact on their impression of the brand. Half of consumers (48% – asked in five countries) say they are more likely to buy specific brands carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark.
Six out of ten consumers (59%) feel empowered to make a difference through their shopping choices. But they also have high expectations of companies in combating poverty — 79 percent worldwide say companies can play an important role in reducing poverty through the way they do business. Consumers’ top concerns are fair pay for farmers and workers and product safety: a full 85 percent of consumers say these issues are important for companies and their suppliers in their dealings with poor countries.
At the same time, consumers connect Fairtrade with a consistent message of clear benefits to farmers and workers. Sixty-four percent of those familiar with the FAIRTRADE Mark associate it with helping farmers and workers in poor countries escape poverty. Sixty-one percent who are familiar associate Fairtrade with “a fair price paid to producers” and “helping producers in poor countries access global markets”.
Consumers’ confidence in Fairtrade is translated into their purchases – shoppers spent €4.36 billion on Fairtrade products in 2010, up by 28 percent. Consumers tripled their Fairtrade purchases in Czech Republic (386%), South Africa (315%) and Australia and New Zealand (258%). Shoppers bought an impressive 47 percent more in Fairtrade’s largest market, the United Kingdom (UK).
“This survey proves consumers do care about the people and the communities at the other end of the supply chain,” says Rob Cameron, Chief Executive of Fairtrade International. “They want to be sure that their everyday purchases reflect their values and they expect companies to reflect this need. We are taking up the challenge to grow Fairtrade still further so that even more farmers and workers can have better opportunities and more consumers can make the choices they believe in.”
The study of more than 17,000 consumers was carried out in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA.
In more general terms, the study confirmed that consumers across the world believe independent, third-party certification is the best way to verify a product’s social and environmental claims. More than seven in ten consumers (72%) and a majority in the 24 countries surveyed support independent, third-party certification of products, defined as certification of product claims by an independent third-party organization. Italians (89%), Irish (84%), and South Africans (82%) express the highest support for third-party certification.
“Consumers clearly want business to back up social and environmental claims through independent certification. Fairtrade’s ever-increasing recognition power and unique trust levels provide a strong vehicle for individuals to make this point through their day-to-day purchases,” says Caroline Holme, Research Director at GlobeScan.

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About the Survey:

The study was based on a quantitative survey delivered to a random sample of adult consumers using available online panels in each country. The survey countries included: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Fieldwork was conducted between 23 February 2011 and 24 June 2011. The total number of interviews per country ranged from 500 to 1,500. Tracking countries from the 2008 survey included: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. The international FAIRTRADE Certification Mark was tested in all countries except for the USA, where the local label was tested.

About Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO)

Fairtrade is a global movement and product certification with a people first approach to trade. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers a better deal and an opportunity to improve their lives and invest in their future. Over 6 million people (farmers, workers and their family members) in 60 countries directly benefit from the international Fairtrade system. National Fairtrade organizations promote Fairtrade to consumers in 25 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia/New Zealand.
Fairtrade International is a global non-profit organization that works with farmers and workers to improve lives through fairer trade. We lead the Fairtrade system, develop the Fairtrade Standards and support producers. Fairtrade International owns the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark, a registered trademark recognized around the world. www.fairtrade.net

About GlobeScan

GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its quality management system, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact.
Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco. www.globescan.com