Australians have spent over $191m on Fairtrade products in 2012 according to new figures released today by Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.
With coffee and chocolate sales leading the way, annual growth of the ethically certified products has increased by 50 percent over the past five years according to ANZ operations manager Craig Chester.
“This growth means Fairtrade is reaching the kind of scale which can challenge corporate thinking and eventually change the structure of trade. There is a long way still to go, but we are making progress,” he said.
“Our research indicates that when purchasing everyday products like cocoa and coffee, consumers are opting for Fairtrade to reward companies who ensure the world's poorest farmers get a decent price for their products."
The report said that consumers purchased more than 42 million Fairtrade products despite rising living costs, and certified products are becoming more widely available through mainstream channels such as supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths.
The trend towards eco-friendly and ethical options is continuing to gain momentum with an average of 15 new businesses entering the Fairtrade system in Australia each year.
Fairtrade is the only globally recognised ethical certification that ensures farmers in developing countries receive a fair price for their products, as well as additional investment towards community improvements such as schools, hospitals and farming practices.
Fairtrade celebrates its largest annual awareness campaign, Fair Trade Fortnight this month which encourages consumers to make an educated decision at the checkout.
Fair Trade Fortnight commences on 4 May, and runs until 19 May 2013.