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Research: Fair Trade Important Part of Balanced Diet
New York Ag Connection - 09/12/2017

Interest in environmental labels continues to surge as consumers demand more from companies, according to new research from GlobeScan and Fairtrade America. Awareness of organic and non-GMO products show strong growth while fair trade continues to figure heavily into purchase decisions.

"The study demonstrates a shift in the US consumer with current environmental and political issues in the US top of mind, but for many consumers, the Fairtrade label remains an important value-add," said James Morris, US Director, GlobeScan. "Fair trade has a strong halo effect for most US consumers."

Clear, transparent labeling was shown to be an important tool to help consumers purchase in line with their values. Fair trade was found to have a halo effect with 81 percent of consumers saying they would view a brand they already buy more favorably if it carried a fair trade label. This effect was especially pronounced in cities where the number topped 85 percent.

Overall, urban areas rank higher in recognition of the FAIRTRADE label with more than 40 percent of consumers reporting that they had seen the label regularly. Just over a quarter of consumers were familiar with the FAIRTRADE label.

"Equality, fairness in trade, good labor conditions and clean, simple ingredients rank high for consumers. These are all issues that Fairtrade addresses with our focus on small-scale farmers, workers' rights and better choices for a healthy planet," said Bryan Lew, Chief Operating Officer at Fairtrade America.

Other findings include:

- Over half of consumers familiar with the FAIRTRADE label trust it.

- Nearly 75 percent of American consumers who have seen a fair trade label would recommend fair trade products to friends.

- Over 50 percent of US shoppers learn about fair trade from labels on products.

- Consumers are as likely to purchase fair trade products as those from local farmers.

The FAIRTRADE label, licensed by Fairtrade America, is the most recognized and trusted ethical certification worldwide. By complying with the social, economic and environmental criteria in the internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards, farmers, traders and brands can improve the sustainability of their entire supply chain.

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