Scale: 1.4 million Fairtrade farmers worldwide
Today, Fair Trade is a staple high street presence in our modern economy – it is difficult to consider a time where the concept of ethical and fair supply was not considered relevant to the market. The movement to help these producers in developing countries receive a fair fee for their products began to take root in the UK in 1965.
Oxfam began their ‘Helping by Selling’ project, a mission to sell handmade products and promote the principles of fair trade across its rapidly expanding network of charity shops, themselves a new social innovation.
After initial success for Oxfam and similar ‘Alternative Trade Organisations’ (ATOs), the slowing of the market for these crafted products during the 1980s precipitated the rise of Fair Trade renewables, particularly coffee and tea, which offered agricultural workers a reliable income and consumers ethically-sourced essential products.
Today, these products dominate the Fair Trade market, which continues to be increasingly popular with consumers – 2013 saw a remarkable 14% rise in UK sales, worth £1.78 billion.