Fair Trade Facts

BUSINESS FACTS
  • In 2002, worldwide sales of Fair Trade products were estimated to have surpassed US$400 million, generating an estimated US$30 million in additional income for producers and workers. (Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International -FLO)
  • Total worldwide retail sales of Fair Trade certified products in 2001 are estimated at €248 million Euro (roughly $250 million). (FLO)
  • U.S. sales of Fair Trade coffee grew 46% from 2001 to 2002. (Transfair USA), while international sales grew by an average of 21.2% over the same period. (FLO)
  • Fair Trade products are increasingly available, now in over 43,000 supermarkets worldwide and in 12,000 national retail locations such as Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Trader Joes, and soon Dunkin’ Donuts. (TransFair USA)
  • More than 200 companies carry Fair Trade Certified products, including Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Sara Lee, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Equal Exchange, Thanksgiving Coffee Company and Dean’s Beans (complete list - www.fairtradecertified.org)
  • In a poll of U.S. consumers, 81% of respondents say they are likely to switch brands to help support a cause when price and quality are equal, and 92% have a more positive image of companies and products that support causes. (Cone/Roper 2002)
  • The fastest growing Fair Trade markets are in Austria, France and Norway, with growth rates of over 100% in sales volumes between 2001 and 2002. (Fairtrade.net)

POLITICAL FACTS
  • On 7/25/03, Rep. Stark (D-CA) introduced House Resolution HR 349, recommending that the Legislative Branch and the Executive Agencies make Fair Trade coffee available at its events and food service venues.
  • Fair Trade coffee is currently available in the European Parliament, the British House of Commons, the World Bank and several cafes on Capitol Hill.
  • On 11/15/02, the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 604 that directs Congress to "adopt a global strategy to respond to the current coffee crisis" and urges "private sector coffee buyers and roasters to work with the U.S. government to find a solution to the crisis which is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable..." - Introduced by Rep. Farr (D-CA)

FOOD and QUALITY FACTS
  • Fair Trade coffees from all over the world have won awards such as Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best Coffee” award and 1st place in the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Board’s Blind Coffee Tasting for 2002 competition.
  • There are 11 Fair Trade Certified products available internationally: coffee, tea, cocoa, honey, sugar, rice, bananas, mangos, pineapples, orange juice, passion fruit juice, fresh cut flowers and soccer balls - serving as the basis for Fair Trade labeling for more than a hundred additional related products
  • Fair Trade standards are being developed for other kinds of tropical fruit, wines, juices and other tropical commodities. (Fairtrade.net)
  • About 80% of all Fair Trade Certified coffee sold in the U.S. is also certified organic.

INTERNATIONAL FACTS
  • FLO has certified 315 producer organizations, representing around 900,000 families of farmers and workers, in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, benefiting more than 5 million producers, workers and their dependents. (Fairtrade.net)
  • FLO has registered 249 exporters, importers, processors and manufacturers in 61 countries all over the world, including 17 national Fair Trade labeling organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
  • Fair Trade labeling is internationally recognized; Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) operates in accordance with the international ISO norms for certifying agencies. In 2003 FLO won the prestigious Belgian King Baudouin International development prize.
FEATURE/SPECIAL INTEREST FACTS
  • Nearly 25 million coffee farmers in Latin America, Asia and Africa have seen prices fall by 70% in the last 5 years. "Many people are emigrating because of coffee's low price. We are living in poverty," said Luis Toledo, a 28-year-old from Oaxaca, one of Mexico's coffee-growing regions. (Oxfam International).
  • Many small-scale producers can no longer afford food, schooling, or medical care for their families. Example: “Arnel Mamac, 12, already skips plenty of school days, when his family cannot afford to buy rice. His parents don't want him making the two-mile trek on an empty stomach.” (NY Times July 20, 2003)
  • The most recent survey of conditions on West African cocoa farms, completed for the U.S. Agency for International Development in July 2002, estimated that nearly 300,000 children work in dangerous conditions on cocoa farms. More than half of these children are under 14 years old, and almost 6,000 were described as "unpaid workers with no family ties," provoking some advocates to refer to them as "slaves." The rest work on their families' farms, kept home from school to do punishing work during the all-important harvest seasons. The latter category is, in the definition of the International Labor Organization, child laborers. (salon.com). Fair Trade certification guarantees that all ILO standards are met on certified farms, preventing slave labor abuses and ensuring that children who work on family farms are able to attend school and do not work with dangerous equipment or chemicals.