All’s fair in love and war—and, increasingly, trade

They say good things take time, and when it comes to Fairtrade awareness in New Zealand, it looks as if its time has well and truly arrived. In an announcement made by Fair Trade Australia and New Zealand (Fairtrade ANZ), the sale of Fairtrade products have increased by more than 100 percent in just 12 months to $36.6 million in 2010.

Fairtrade ANZ chief executive Stephen Knapp says the growth is matched by a significant jump in New Zealand consumer awareness of the Fairtrade Label, rising from 41 percent in June 2009 to 51 percent in June 2010 (Colmar Brunton 2010).

And with that increased awareness comes an increased number of options, with more than 50 New Zealand businesses last year being granted licenses to display the Fairtrade label on their products.

And boy do we love our fair trade chocolate. Thanks in part to big names Whittakers and Cadbury introducing their own lines of Fairtrade certified chocolate, sales of Fairtrade certified chocolate went up a whopping 1625 percent in 2010. In Australia, Fairtrade certified chocolates have overtaken coffee as the biggest selling Fairtrade certified product. But that’s not yet the case in New Zealand, where coffee remains at the top of the Fairtrade pile. According to Knapp, sales of Fairtrade certified coffee products increased by $2 million in 2010 to $18 million.

“Kiwi shoppers recognise the real and positive difference Fairtrade makes in giving developing country farmers and workers a fair go and voting with their shopping dollar accordingly,” says Knapp.

Things are looking sunny on the banana Fairtrade front too. In December last year, All Good, the company which imported the New Zealand’s first Fairtrade banana, said it was now importing five containers per month to meet with the increasing demand—a number which it expects to jump to six per month from March this year. That equals about 120,000 kg of Fairtrade bananas a month.

Fairtrade awareness has also been boosted by non-profit organisation Oxfam, which runs continuous Fairtrade campaigns, including the uber-successful ‘Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break’ campaign, in which schools, businesses and individuals alike participate in Fairtrade coffee breaks during Fair Trade fortnight (7-22 May).

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