Ignite Consumer Involvement
Since Fair Trade launched in Europe 50 years ago, European consumer awareness has grown to well over 80 percent in many markets. In the United States, however, the movement is much newer and only 34 percent of consumers are aware of Fair Trade. Given the extraordinary size of the U.S. consumer market, and the massive annual expenditures in coffee, chocolate, sugar, produce and other key Fair Trade categories, even modest increases in consumer awareness and involvement will return significant impact for farmers.
FAIR TRADE TOWNS & UNIVERSITIES
At the heart of this effort is the growing grassroots movement which includes the national Fair Trade Towns and Universities campaigns. For the socially-conscious consumer, Fair Trade provides a framework for sustainable consumption and positive community action that leads to immediate impact on farming families. In September of 2011, we hosted the first-ever national Fair Trade Towns and Universities organizers’ conference, bringing nearly 250 volunteer organizers together to train and collaborate. In the coming years, we expect to see active campaigns more than 100 towns and universities.
FAIR TRADE MONTH 2011
Complementing grassroots efforts, we partnered with hundreds of brands, retailers and NGOs to launch our most comprehensive national awareness campaign ever for Fair Trade Month in October. This annual promotional campaign garnered a whole new level of industry involvement and consumer impact, based on our new messaging platform—Every Purchase Matters—brought to life through social media, digital advertising and public relations.
Business partners, NGOs, producers and consumer advocates now have access to awareness building materials that can be customized and downloaded digitally to educate diverse audiences about the positive impact of Fair Trade Certified products. To further engage consumers, we introduced a Fair Trade Finder application for Facebook and mobile phones to help consumers search for, discover, and share Fair Trade products in their communities. The application launched October 1, 2011, and will continue to grow over time as a key driver of awareness and understanding as we help consumers make every purchase matter.