Does Germany’s rapid Fairtrade growth make it the most dynamic global market?

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

TransFair said Fairtrade products in Germany have grown in value by 26% in the past year.
TransFair said Fairtrade products in Germany have grown in value by 26% in the past year.

Related tags Fair trade Fairtrade

The German Fairtrade market is the most dynamic globally, as growth in certified products spiked by more than a quarter in the past year, says TransFair chief Dieter Overath.

Last year saw German Fairtrade certified products record the strongest absolute growth since the founding of the label – making it the most dynamic market in the world for Fairtrade products, said Overath, who is chief of the German Fairtrade organisation TransFair.

Indeed, with the marketplace growing in value by 26% in the last year, and sales hitting €827 million, the German association recently suggested that Fairtrade is ‘unstoppable’ in the country.

Overath suggested that the political consciousness among German consumers has grown considerably over the past few years, adding that in light of recent catastrophes and deficiencies around the world, an increasing number of people want to make a positive contribution.

Despite the strong growth in the country last year – which equates to a 44% increase in product sales by volume - the German market for Fairtrade products still lags significantly behind the UK and Switzerland, where consumers spend considerably more money on ethical products.

“In the United Kingdom and Switzerland consumers spend three to four times as much on fair trade goods,”​ Overath said – adding that he believes Fairtrade products to be on the upswing in Germany still as even more consumers and retailers back certified products.

He noted that discount retailers and chain stores, in particular, are increasingly choosing to back fair trade products. 

Growth areas

According to TransFair the certified products including coffee, bananas, flowers and cocoa have driven growth in Fairtrade in the past 12 months.

Coffee, continues to be the biggest selling Fairtrade product, and witnessed an 18% growth in 2014. Fairtrade coffee now has a 2.9% market share.

Bananas saw phenomenal growth, as sales rose by 62% to hit just over 51,000 tons annually – meaning that 8% of banana’s sold in Germany are now Fairtrade. 

Meanwhile 7,590 tons of Fairtrade cocoa were used in 2014, a six-fold increase compared to 2013, said TransFair.

Other positive product categories included honey, cotton products, and soft drinks. 

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