FairTrade marks 20 years in Ireland
29 February 2016 | 0
This morning, the launch of FairTrade fortnight was marked by an event in Dublin’s City Hall that also celebrated 20 years of the charity’s arrival in Ireland. Bewley’s, a long-time supporter of FairTrade through its branded fresh coffee products, used the occasion to announced plans to convert ALL of its coffee business to FairTrade Certified coffee by the end of this year. The move will mean an increase to $6m in business for FairTrade farmers in developing countries; this money as well as going towards their revenue will contribute to local amenities, education and more.
Meanwhile, FairTrade revealed that Ireland’s consumer spend on FairTrade products increased by 10%, to a total of approximately €250m, in 2015. Within that, consumer spend on FairTrade coffee increase by 11% in 2015, while consumer spend on FairTrade bananas increased by 20% last year.
“I don’t think anyone could have been confident of the success of this project when it started in 1996,” said Peter Gaynor, executive director of FairTrade Ireland. “Before this, we had been selling small volumes of cocoa and coffee to committed activists in Oxfam, Trocaire and Amnesty shops, and the influence of those activists has gone on to inspire the whole country.”
Gaynor added that research shows Ireland has the highest level of unprompted awareness of FairTrade, and the second-highest levels of trust in the brand. “These figures are encouraging,” he said, “but what is more inspiring is that during one of the worst economic challenges our country has ever faced, consumers never wavered in their support for FairTrade.”
The event was attended by representatives from the businesses that support FairTrade products including Aldi, Mars, Insomnia, Starbucks and more.