R234 million spent on Fairtrade products; World's most recognized ethical label is growing in SA

Friday, 10 May, 2013
In 2012 the sale of Fairtrade products in South Africa reached a record high of R234 million, a 220% increase from 2011’s R73.2 million.
For the third year in a row South African consumers and businesses have chosen Fairtrade as their preferred sustainability choice, making the world’s most recognised ethical food label a growing trend in South Africa too.

In 2012 Fairtrade coffee, wine and now chocolate are the leading sales categories of Fairtrade in South Africa:

  • With the introduction of three new Fairtrade coffees last year, Ciro, Woolworths and Espresseco’s coffee capsules, the flagship product for Fairtrade globally is on a steep rise in South Africa. Last year shoppers bought over 120 tons of Fairtrade coffee with an estimated value of R30 million, a 167% increase from 2011;
  • South Africans drank 410,000 bottles of Fairtrade wine with an estimated value of R23 million, a 60% increase from 2011;
  • and 2117 tons of Fairtrade chocolate was consumed by South Africans in 2012, mainly through the sale of Cadbury Dairy Milk plain chocolate bars.
Fairtrade coffee and chocolate are core product categories internationally; unique to the South African market however is Fairtrade wine as leading product category.  As the biggest Fairtrade wine producing country, this translates into additional benefits for South African farm workers, who not only benefit from better working and living conditions, but also from the Fairtrade Development Premium, which is generated through sales of Fairtrade products. Research conducted in April 2013 concerning the spending of the premium during 2012 shows that investments in community development, education and infrastructure are the priority for South African farm workers.

“The steep increase in sales can be credited to both the increased awareness of Fairtrade among South African consumers and the growth in the number of certified products available on retail shelves and in the hospitality space”, says Boudewijn Goossens, Executive Director of Fairtrade Label South Africa. He continues “Increased sales of Fairtrade products have far-reaching benefits for the producers and their communities. On behalf of all the small-scale farmers and farm workers throughout Africa we wish to congratulate South Africa for choosing Fairtrade and contributing to a more equal and sustainable Africa.”

In addition to the introduction of new coffees, various other Fairtrade product ranges were successfully introduced in 2012: PUMA’s Wilderness Collection made of Fairtrade cotton, a range of locally produced rooibos teas and olives from Palestine. With more exciting product introductions planned for 2013, the future for Fairtrade in South Africa looks positive.