FDIN Fairtrade UK Seminar Report

Organised by the FDIN / Fairtrade Foundation, Daventry, July 8th 2010

Full presentations will be available here:


1. Summary

  • An excellent seminar that helped explain why Fairtrade has done so well recently and suggests strong future growth in the UK and elsewhere
  • Seminar was poorly attended relative to previous seminars on this subject but this may be due to poor marketing by the Fairtrade Foundation as content and organisation were both of very good quality

2. Key Attendees

  • Quentin Clark – Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing, Waitrose
  • Simon Hinks, – Product Technical Manager, Sainsbury’s
  • Joe Osman, Sourcing Director, Traidcraft
  • Jane Wakeling, Regional Sourcing Manager, Compass

3. Key Points From Presentations

3.1 Consumer Spending In Tougher Times

Jonathan Banks (ex-Nielsen)

  • Did recession change consumers view of Fairtrade? No
  • Is it all about cheap Private Label and Discounters now? No
  • Are we no longer worried about Doing The Right Thing? No
  • Will Fairtrade suffer in the same way as organic has? No
  • What is the way forward for Fairtrade? Brand equity, integrity, quality, value for money, values

3.2 Fairtrade and the Ethical Brand World

Tom Ellis, 1HQ

  • Consumer understanding of Fairtrade centres around treatment of suppliers, treatment of food (eg whether free range) and treatment of environment
  • Consumers can be divided into ethically inactive, ethically aware, ethically active and ethically motivated (majority are in first 3 groups) – consumers can move between groups during the same shop!
  • Small brands are seen as inherently more ethical than big brands
  • Threats to future success of Fairtrade – teaming up with big brands could lower standards, emphasis on local, seen as old-fashioned when something newer comes along

3.3 Fairtrade Foundation Communications & Policy

Barbara Crowther

  • Fairtrade is top-of-mind ethical label (mentioned by 32% of people unprompted)
  • Key understanding is that Fairtrade producers are fairly compensated (64%)
  • Challenge is to explain that Fairtrade is more than about price
  • Key barrier to purchase is price (64%), followed by availability / visibility (23%)
  • Targets are Active Enthusiasts and Mainstream Enthusiasts (with Passive Beneficiaries = 81% of population)

3.4 From Pioneer To Brand Leader

Craig Sams, President, Green & Black’s

  • Green & Black’s turnover now £150m
  • = 10% total block sales
  • 30% annual growth

3.5 Fairtrade Certification – From Niche To Mainstream

Pieter Louw, FLO-CERT

  • DAP now renamed DAKK
  • FLO Fairtrade Certification system ‘not designed to see whole supply chain’
  • Recession has lead to FLO-CERT achieving 25% cost savings already, current mantra is ‘how can we drive costs down?”
  • Refining current activities eg SCORE
  • Adding new activities eg certifying producers as Low Carbon
  • Moving into new markets eg organic certification
  • But no-one else can certify to FLO standards until at least 2012

3.6 Embedding Sustainability As Part of the Company DNA

Alison Ward, Cadbury

  • Segment consumers into Ethical Seekers (= Deep Greens + Dippers), Feel Good Factors (No Sacrifice) and Anti-Ethicals: first two groups are in majority
  • “Do It First, Tell People Second”
  • “Your Desire To Tell Exceeds The Consumers Capacity To Listen”