New survey results reveal consumers are committed to purchasing ethically sourced products despite challenges of inflation; Fairtrade to cover trends from study in September virtual event
WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2023 – Fairtrade America, the world’s most recognized label for social justice and sustainability, today released 2023 Fairtrade America Consumer Insights, a report of the findings from biennial research conducted by independent insights consultancy GlobeScan. The new findings show remarkable momentum for Fairtrade in the U.S.: 61% of consumers now recognize the Fairtrade Mark, up from 41% in 2021 and an impressive 118% jump in less than 5 years since 2019. Additionally, despite increases in the cost of living in the U.S., the survey found that 4 in 5 consumers, or nearly 80%, who know Fairtrade are willing to pay more for a product to ensure producers are paid a fairer price. These findings indicate that more and more, shoppers are looking for brands that prioritize ethical sourcing and increase transparency along supply chains.
The 2023 study was conducted via an online survey of 2,000 Americans and more than 11,000 consumers across 12 countries globally. In addition to the significant increase in U.S. awareness, key findings include:
- 72% of respondents said they had trust in the label. This continues a pattern of steady increase, up 26% since 2021.
- 85% of U.S. shoppers said that carrying the Fairtrade label would make a positive impact on their impressions of a brand.
- 2 in 3 shoppers familiar with Fairtrade prefer to shop at retailers that carry certified products.
Globally, the Fairtrade Mark remains the most recognized ethical label in the world, with 71% of shoppers indicating they’d seen the certification label.
- Coffee continues to be the most recognized Fairtrade certified product category – 48% of shoppers recall seeing coffee with the Fairtrade Mark. Additionally, shoppers are willing to pay up to 35% more per bag of Fairtrade certified coffee. Fairtrade chocolate follows closely behind in visibility at 43%, and shoppers will pay up to 55% more for a Fairtrade certified bar of chocolate.
“Shoppers in the U.S. are driving change with their purchasing power,” said Amanda Archila, executive director of Fairtrade America. “We are energized by these results and remain focused on increasing the U.S. market for Fairtrade certified products by meeting consumers where they are in their sustainable shopping journey, and building strength with farming communities around the world. We firmly believe that businesses can grow responsibly while ensuring that farmers and workers who grow our favorite foods including cocoa, coffee and bananas get a fairer deal. And it’s clear that consumers are demanding the same.”
Fairtrade Brand Partners & Retailers See the Impact of Certification
Fairtrade America’s 2023 Consumer Insights show that the Fairtrade label positively impacts brand perception, and results also highlight strong correlations between Fairtrade recognition and loyal purchasing behavior.
Ninety-one percent of shoppers who recognize the Fairtrade label said they regularly or occasionally purchase certified products, and 63% of those shoppers ages 25 to 34 are regularly buying Fairtrade items.
Not only are these shoppers purchasing Fairtrade products, but they are also advocating for it, with 74% who know the certification label saying they were likely or very likely to advocate for buying Fairtrade.
Both new and long-time Fairtrade brand partners are seeing the benefits of certification, both through increased transparency along their supply chains and in answering consumers’, and retailers’, demands for sustainably sourced products.
- ALDI serves millions of customers across the U.S. each month. ALDI strives to have a positive impact on its customers, employees, and communities by being socially and environmentally responsible, earning ALDI recognition as a leading grocer in sustainability.“As one of America’s fastest-growing grocery retailers and a certified Fairtrade brand partner, ALDI sees the value of the Fairtrade Mark in action,” shared Una Hrnjak, Director of Sustainability at ALDI USA. “This data underscores what we know about our own customers – that they are looking for high-quality products that also benefit farmers, workers, communities and the environment. Partnering with Fairtrade is one of the ways we advance our responsible sourcing efforts and signal to customers that these products are good for both people and the planet.”
- Equifruit is North America’s leading Fairtrade banana importer. With recent expansion in the U.S., Fairtrade is crucial to the brand’s growth and ambitions to put fairer fruit in the hands of shoppers.“At Equifruit, our vision is Global Fairtrade Banana Domination. Our brand may be cheeky, our memes absurd, but the real absurdity is the banana industry’s hundred-year-old business model, an economic, social and environmental trainwreck,” said Jennie Coleman, President of Equifruit. “In partnership with Fairtrade, Equifruit is a 21st Century banana company, a challenger brand basing our business model on pricing standards that reflect the true cost of sustainable production, as well as community investments funded by the Fairtrade Premium. We have found that consumers connect with our 100% Fairtrade mission: they understand that nothing is magically forever cheap, and they admire the banana badasses at Equifruit for offering good news fruit to the mainstream marketplace. Our tenfold sales growth in North America over the last ten years, and successful entry in the U.S. market, testify to their trust in us and the rigorous standards we uphold, in partnership with the Fairtrade system.”
- Twiga Coffee is a premium coffee brand dedicated to ethically and sustainably sourcing the finest beans from around the world. With a focus on exceptional quality, transparency, and positive impact, Twiga Coffee aims to deliver a truly elevated coffee experience while fostering a brighter future for coffee-growing communities.“As the world embraces sustainability and responsible consumerism, the Fairtrade Mark has become more than just a symbol – it’s a testament to integrity, transparency, and positive impact across the value chain,” shared Tandeep Bains, CEO of Twiga Coffee. “Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about the products they purchase, seeking assurance that their choices contribute to a fairer and more sustainable world. Twiga Coffee recognizes the power of the Fairtrade Mark in conveying these values to our customers. The new GlobeScan research validates our decision to partner with Fairtrade America. The alignment of our brand values with Fairtrade’s mission is clear. It’s not just about a label; it’s about driving positive change throughout the supply chain, from the hands that nurture the beans to the cups that our customers enjoy.”
“By carrying the Fairtrade Mark on products, brands and retailers are communicating to U.S. shoppers that people, planet and responsible business are a priority. Now is the time to take action – farmers are facing increasing challenges with climate change and increased costs of production – and as consumers continue to seek products that are ethically sourced, brands that can easily show how they share shoppers’ values will drive long-term sustainable growth,” said Archila.
See the full report
See the 2023 Fairtrade America Consumer Insights report to learn more about joining the global community of brands, manufacturers and producers working to make trade fair at every step of the supply chain.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, at 1:00PM EDT, Fairtrade America is hosting a virtual event for brands and retailers to learn more about the implications of this latest research in a live webinar featuring a Q&A with Fairtrade America Executive Director Amanda Archila. Registration is free, click here to RSVP.
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