Anorak | The complete irrelevance of buying Fairtrade

The complete irrelevance of buying Fairtrade

by | 27th, February 2012

WE’VE got the usual breathless report on how massively, hugely, Fairtrade sales are growing in The Guardian :

Sales of fairly traded products have bucked the trend of decline in the UK retail market to grow by 12% in the last year. The value of Fairtrade products sold through shops reached £1.32bn in 2011, compared to £1.17bn in 2010, according to figures from the Fairtrade Foundation, as it launches its annual marketing fortnight on Monday.

Whoooo! It’s Massive, Innit?

Well, err, no, it’s not. It’s a pittance, an irrelevance. Retail sales are of the order of £30 billion a month . That Fairtrade value is an annual one. So Fairtrade is actually a huge and massive (£1.32 / £30×12 x 100, umm) 0.366% of retail sales.

Just to give you an example it’s as if the entire UK ignores Fairtrade entirely and but Dudley (yes, that one, in the West Midlands, about 200,000 people) buys nothing but Fairtrade. In the context of things it’s nothing, a rounding error.

What’s even more amusing is that those figures might not really be showing any volume growth at all. Sure,

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Posted: 27th, February 2012 | In: The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink