Fairtrade report reveals consumer support remains strong despite global cost of living crisis

Fairtrade report

A Fairtrade consumer research report, conducted by GlobeScan, has found that consumers are staying loyal to the international organisation as the most visible and trusted ethical label.

A total of 11,217 consumers participated in the study, which was conducted in January and February 2023 in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. A separate survey was conducted in India in August and September 2022.

The report found that 56 per cent of shoppers were willing to pay more for a Fairtrade product, despite the increased cost of living. While consumers are increasingly concerned about rising food prices, small-scale farmers also face skyrocketing fuel, transport, and fertiliser costs, putting their livelihoods even further at risk.

“It is encouraging that shoppers are staying committed to sustainability values even during hard times, to support farmers and workers getting a fair income,” says Sandra Uwera, Global CEO of Fairtrade International. “The global cost of living crisis is squeezing both consumers and producers, but this survey shows that many people still put ethical considerations high on the list when they go shopping.”

According to the report, more people answered that they regularly buy Fairtrade products than the last survey in 2021 despite recent indications of an overall dip in consumers’ willingness to choose ‘purposeful’ brands.

“Fairtrade remains the most visible and trusted ethical label globally,” added Uwera. “The majority of consumers told us they prefer to buy Fairtrade products over other labels.”

The research also found that consumers see added value for brands that carry the Fairtrade label, with 79 per cent answering that they have a positive impression of a brand when the Fairtrade label is present.

“Farmers and agricultural workers are facing multiple crises, including spiralling inflation, lower real wages and the effects of climate change – while consumers around the world are also facing great uncertainty,” says Uwera. “These findings send a clear message that shoppers still want fair and sustainable options, and suggest that they see no short cut to a more sustainable future.”

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