Soundbites from the Fairtrade Foundation Commercial Conference, Kensington Town Hall, September 24th 2009

Mark Price, Managing Director, Waitrose

  • What constitutes real value? Correct price, quality and fairness of sourcing. Fairness will become a key feature of the business landscape.
  • Over the next twenty years importing some staples looks difficult… power will shift towards farmers and growers. All retailers will have to work hard to remain their partners of choice – hence Fairtrade relationships will be even more important over the next 15 years
  • Fairtrade and trading fairly is becoming a ‘hygiene’ factor

Rob Cameron, CEO, FLOev

  • FLO’s aims are to work “stonger, broader,deeper”
  • Plethora of ethical labels emerging is good but not the corporate belief  that ”any label will do”
  • New FLO goal is 5/10/15 ie 5 times more producers and 10 times more sales by the year 2015 – can be done if other countries are successful as the UK is now!
  • FLO will launch a simplified producer certification system next year and will look at working with other systems eg Eurogap

Darcy Wilson-Rymer, MD, Starbucks

  • Fairtrade gives us a compelling and simple way of stating all the good things we do to our customers
  • Moving to Fairtrade Espresso in the UK alone will add $3.7m to the annual Fairtrade social premium
  • We’re a big company, we can make a big difference
  • We need to recognise the different needs of business and the Fairtrade movement – to find the common good and work together. We should not try to change each others identity.

Cheryl Sloan, Marketing Director, Fairtrade Foundation

  • 17% sales uplift of Sainsbury’s own-label tea since it went Fairtrade
  • 34% of shoppers buy a Fairtrade product once a month but this is not growing
  • FTF 2010 theme is  ‘The Big Swap” – aim is 1 million and 1 swaps of conventional products for Fairtrade
  • The Big Swap will be characterised by tone of voice that is warmer, more accessible and more lively
  • www.thebigswap.org.uk goes live tomorrow!

Todd Stitzer, CEO, Cadbury

  • Cadbury’s have gone Fairtrade in part because of concerns over supply chain sustainability
  • Business is ‘performance driven, values led” and ‘principled capitalism”
  • The Cadbury’s Dairy Milk deal means that Ghana will move from exporting 5000 MT of Fairtrade cocoa now to 20,000 MT in 2010

Joannne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD

Four things that the Fairtrade movement needs to watch for:

  • Price premium too high – consumers want “value for values”
  • Confusion – 21% of consumers don’t know what Fairtrade means
  • Scepticism – 18% support Fairtrade in principle but are not convinced it works in practice
  • Scale-up – prepare for unprecedented success!