Fair Trade USA is proud to announce the release of our 2011 Fair Trade Almanac . Each year, Fair Trade USA’s certification department collects data from both our business partners and producer organizations, and complies it all into one easily-digestible report that serves as a key indicator for the health and growth of Fair Trade in the United States.
The 2011 edition showcases monumental growth in Fair Trade Certified™ imports, record-breaking community development premiums, and Fair Trade USA’s reinvigorated efforts to strengthen producer organizations through a variety of new cooperative development programs. This parallels significant increase in consumer awareness, which has quadrupled in the past 5 years.
Continuous Growth in Fair Trade Certified Imports
Thanks to conscious consumers across the United States, and our more than 800 committed industry partners, Fair Trade Certified products are now available in virtually every major supermarket in America as well as thousands of restaurants, cafeterias and cafes. In fact, in 2011 the vast majority of food categories showed impressive growth, including: Coffee (32%), Cocoa (156%), Tea (22%), and Sugar (31%).
Here are some exciting highlights from our 2011 Almanac:
In 2011, Fair Trade USA certified a record 138 million pounds of Fair Trade Coffee from 22 different countries around the world, 52 percent of which were also certified organic. In total, coffee imports were up 32% versus 2010, resulting in almost $17 million in Fair Trade coffee premiums paid to producer organizations, a new record for Fair Trade premium returns in one year. The money generated by the surge in consumer demand for ethically and sustainably sourced products is invested into farming businesses to build infrastructure and capacity, as well as into farming communities for schools, roads, health care and other development efforts.
2011 showcased growth across nearly every country. Notably, 2011 marked the first time that Fair Trade Certified™ bell peppers, cucumbers and bananas from Mexico were imported into the United States. One of the most outstanding trends within the produce category during 2011 was continued growth of organic imports, up 64% over 2010.
Community Development Premiums
As you continued to vote with your dollars in 2011, choosing products produced in ways that improve lives and protect the environment, more farmers and workers around the world were positively impacted. We’re thrilled to announce that for the first time ever, annual community development premiums topped the $20MM mark; at $22MM they were up over 50% versus 2010. This means that since 1998, Fair Trade USA and its partners have enabled Fair Trade farmers to earn more than $77 million in community development premiums, which have been used for community-elected development projects, covering areas like education, healthcare, environment, business management, quality improvement and productivity.
In addition to what farmers earned in both sales and community-development premiums, since 2006 Fair Trade USA and its partners have invested over $7.4 million in programs to strengthen small-scale farming communities in projects spanning sugar, cocoa, produce, tea and coffee. Building on this deep history of development work, in 2011 we took an invigorated new approach, called Co-op Link. We surveyed farmers to better understand their most pressing needs, raised $5 million in 2011 alone for programs to address these needs, and worked with NGO’s and local service providers to execute programs.
Every Purchase Matters
As these numbers reveal, Fair Trade certification helps farmers, industry partners and consumers like you make every purchase matter, contributing to the long-term sustainability of farming communities around the world. In just 13 years, we’ve established the Fair Trade Certified label as the leading mark of sustainability and responsible sourcing. Today, it assures consumers that the quality products they purchase are improving lives and protecting the environment.