Fairtrade sales soar by 12pc for discerning Irish consumers
IRISH consumers upped their spending on Fairtrade products by 12pc last year to €221m, even though overall grocery purchases only rose 1pc.
A survey by the Irish Independent found consumers typically pay 5pc more for Fairtrade - although this varies widely for individual products.
Fairtrade is a certification scheme which guarantees producers in developing countries a minimum price, and a premium for meeting environmental and labour standards.
We surveyed prices for a basket of 11 comparable products at leading supermarkets - and the Fairtrade range came out just €2 dearer. The Fairtrade basket was €47.42 compared to €45.24.
For example, a packet of six Fairtrade bananas cost €1.59 or 26c each at Lidl compared with €1.39 for seven fun-size conventional bananas, or 20c each - though the Fairtrade bananas are organic.
Lidl's Fairtrade ground coffee meanwhile cost about 20pc more than the non-Fairtrade equivalent, but the Fairtrade brew is also organic.
Four of the 11 products were identically-priced to non-Fairtrade options, while a few were actually cheaper.
Cadbury's bestselling Dairy Milk bar, which is Fairtrade-certified, costs the same as its Fruit & Nut bar which is not.
Fairtrade Ireland, meanwhile, criticised Irish supermarkets in a report published today for not stocking more Fairtrade bananas despite strong consumer support. It said that only 8pc of bananas eaten in Ireland are Fairtrade-certified compared with 35pc in the UK and 60pc in Switzerland.
Coffee now accounts for 60pc of all consumer spending on Fairtrade products here.