I am writing in response to Mr Petersen (MW June 21) and would like to reassure him that ethical shopping really does make a difference, and that UK consumers are becoming more aware of their purchasing power and are using it.
Research shows that there is a general increase in the number of consumers influenced by environmental and ethical issues. A report recently published by the Co-operative Bank states that one in six shoppers frequently buy, or boycott, products because of manufacturers’ reputations. The UK ethical products market is now estimated to be worth over &£1.3bn and growing.
The success of Cafédirect, the UK’s leading Fairtrade company, is an excellent example of how UK consumers really care about the origin of products and the way in which they are produced. Cafédirect has been supplying Fairtrade coffee and tea to the UK market for ten years, proving that this model works. Cafédirect is the fastest-growing roast and ground coffee brand and Teadirect is the fastest-growing tea brand in the UK.
By paying a Fairtrade price to our consumers, by supporting them with tailor-made business development support and educational programmes, Cafédirect is able to make a positive impact on over 1.2 million people across ten countries.
Ethical shopping is becoming a mainstream choice; consumer brands are forcing a positive change. It is everyone’s responsibility to encourage good practice, either through business decisions or in the weekly shop. This change is building strength and is certainly here to stay.