Cocoa, Coffee, and Sugar among Fair Trade’s Biggest Imports

April 29, 2011

Third-party product certifier Fair Trade USA (Oakland, CA) just released its 2010 Almanac, which outlines the growth in U.S. imports from 2009 to 2010 and which products are most popular for fair trade distinction.

A market analysis of U.S. fair trade imports shows no signs of slowing for this business niche of fair labor practices.

Third-party product certifier Fair Trade USA (Oakland, CA) just released its 2010 Almanac, which outlines the growth in U.S. imports from 2009 to 2010 and which products are most popular for fair trade distinction.

Overall, 2010 numbers indicate record volumes in fair trade imports that were also increasingly certified organic.

Among the leading imports to receive Fair Trade USA certification, coffee brought in 109 million pounds, 62% of which was certified organic. New coffee groups accounted for almost 30% of total growth in fair trade imports.

Cocoa experienced a 67% increase in 2010, largely driven by chocolate bars. Citrus saw 96% growth and sugar saw 60% growth (89% of which was organic).

A few ingredients demonstrated massive sales jumps. Fair trade honey imports shot up by 267% and vanilla came in with 365% growth.

“As consumer demand for ethically-produced goods increases, we’re able to chip away at the cycle of poverty that grips farming communities around the world,” said Paul Rice, president and CEO of Fair Trade USA.  “Through their participation in fair trade, farming families have earned more than $220 million in additional income since 1998, $56 million of which will be invested specifically in community development programs that provide access to education and life-saving health care.”