This Saturday marks World Fair Trade Day, promoted by the World Fair Trade Organization. Despite the fact that in the food and FMCG markets as a whole, fair trade products still make up only a small part of all products sold, fair trade has been making inroads into segments like flowers, bananas, chocolate or coffee (at least in European or U.S. markets) and labels certifying fair trade practices are recognizable to many consumers.
Almost 700,000 metric tons of fair-trade bananas were sold worldwide in 2018, followed by 260,000 tons of cocoa beans and 207,000 tons of coffee beans. At the same time, more than 825 million units of fair-trade flowers were sold, making them the biggest product in the market, when comparing one unit of flowers (i.e. a bunch or box) to one kg of cocoa, coffee or bananas.
Together with cane sugar, cotton lint and tea, the products mentioned are those produced by around 90 per cent of all fair-trade producers, according to the World Fair Trade Organization. Consumers in many cases still have to decide between organic and fair trade. For example, 75 per cent of all fair-trade sugar, 87 per cent of all fair-trade cocoa and 100 per cent of all fair-trade flowers are still grown in conventional agriculture settings.