New study reveals Fairtrade America is gaining awareness and trust in the U.S.

27 July 2021   |   Fairtrade America

As the global pandemic awoke Americans to the connectedness of global supply chains

2021 GlobeScan-conducted study includes favorable implications for brands and retailers carrying and promoting the Fairtrade Mark; Fairtrade to share details of study in August webinar

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2021 /CSRwire/ – Fairtrade America – an independent, third-party certification that partners with farmers and workers in developing countries to negotiate better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal overall – today revealed key highlights from its biennial Fairtrade Consumer Insights report conducted by GlobeScan. Study results point to increased trust and favorable perception of Fairtrade certified brands and products, as well as increased recognition of the Fairtrade Mark.

Conducted among over 2,000 U.S. consumers and over 15,000 consumers globally via an online survey, the new research included several notable findings specific to American consumers:

  • Fairtrade awareness among U.S. consumers has grown by almost 50% since 2019; current awareness is at 41% here in the U.S.
  • The Fairtrade Mark has a very positive impact on brand perception among U.S. consumers – 80% of U.S. shoppers aware of Fairtrade would look at a brand that carried its certification label more favorably (versus 76% in 2019).
  • Trust in Fairtrade among U.S. consumers has increased, with 57% of U.S. consumers trusting the Fairtrade International Mark (versus 48% in 2019).
  • Coffee remains the most recognized Fairtrade product, and U.S. shoppers are willing to pay up to 35% per pound more for Fairtrade coffee.
  • Chocolate is also one of the most recognized Fairtrade products, with U.S. shoppers willing to pay up to 30% per bar more for Fairtrade chocolate.

The pandemic’s impact on consumer expectations

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wake-up call to consumers about the need to make more ethical purchasing choices. According to independent GlobeScan public opinion research, consumers now expect companies to demonstrate fair wages, fair employee treatment, and environmental protection in sourcing and production.1 Since the pandemic, GlobeScan has seen significant increases in the public’s expectations of companies to act responsibly. In fact, 41% of U.S. respondents say they have changed their purchasing choices within the past year to make a difference on an economic, social, environmental, social, or political issue, indicating people increasingly see their everyday shopping as an important way to make a difference.1

The Fairtrade Insights report found that nearly three-quarters of consumers who have seen the Fairtrade label when shopping feel it is more important than ever to support Fairtrade in building a better economy for all. Shoppers looking for ethical products are most concerned about child labor, deforestation and sustainable farming practices, and working conditions, all key impact areas for Fairtrade internationally.​

“The pandemic opened the public’s eyes to how interconnected we are to our communities as well as to the global supply chains we all rely on to produce everyday staples. Shoppers worldwide, including here in the U.S., are realizing the positive impact their purchasing decisions can have on farmers and workers to receive fair prices, assistance to adapt their practices to the changing climate and empower women and children in farming communities worldwide,” said Peg Willingham, executive director, Fairtrade America. “We are pleased to see this growing traction for the Fairtrade Mark and the positive perception it imparts on our brand partners. Our goal is to grow U.S. consumer preference of Fairtrade to the levels of certified organic goods.”

Third-party certification more trusted than self-regulation

In recent years, some major U.S. brands have shifted away from credible third-party certifications in favor of internal self-regulation around issues including child labor, fair prices for farmers and sustainability. However, consumers are skeptical. Independent GlobeScan 2020 data shows that less than half of respondents trust companies’ communications about their own social and environmental performance.1

“GlobeScan has recently seen significant increases in people wanting to make more socially and environmentally responsible shopping choices. But we know that behavior lags attitudes, so ethical labels like Fairtrade can be valuable, trusted guides for busy shoppers,” said Caroline Holme, senior director, GlobeScan.

Learn More About Fairtrade

To help people easily identify and purchase Fairtrade-certified products, Fairtrade America recently launched its new Product Finder including hundreds of certified goods sold in the U.S. with more products being added on a regular basis. In the U.S., 5,000 products are registered with the Fairtrade Mark.

Fairtrade America is hosting a webinar for brands and retailers to learn more about the implications of the GlobeScan survey findings, focused on U.S. data and briefly covering results in Canada, and how to better reach conscientious shoppers. The webinar will take place Wednesday, August 4 at 1:00PM EST. Register now.

For more information on Fairtrade America and to review the full GlobeScan study, visit

1. GlobeScan Radar study, a survey of 27,000 people in the general public conducted in June 2020.


About Fairtrade America
Fairtrade America betters the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries by inspiring businesses to implement ethical production practices and assisting shoppers in making informed purchasing decisions. Fairtrade America is the US chapter of Fairtrade International, the original and global leader in fair trade certification with more than 30 years of experience working for fair trading practices in more than 30 countries across the globe. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Fairtrade America is the world’s largest and most recognized fair trade system—part of a global movement for change. Learn more at

About GlobeScan
GlobeScan is an insights and strategy consultancy, focused on helping clients build long-term trusting relationships with their stakeholders. Offering a suite of specialist research and advisory services, we partner with business, NGOs, and governmental organizations to meet strategic objectives across reputation, sustainability, and purpose.

Established in 1987, GlobeScan has offices in Cape Town, Hong Kong, London, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo, and Toronto. We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact and a Certified B Corporation.  Find out more at:

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