Germany has seen a considerable rise in the sale of fair-trade items aimed at helping producers in poorer nations get a better deal. But per-capita purchase volumes are relatively low.
Consumers in Germany spent 784 million euros ($1.05 billion) last year on fair-trade products.
But while the sector grew by a respectable 21 percent over the previous year, sales amounted to only about 10 euros per person.
Even so, awareness of fair trade is growing, with nearly half of consumers in Europe's largest economy buying fair-trade products, the managing director of the country's Fair Trade Forum, Manuel Blendin, said Tuesday during a presentation of the 2013 figures.
Making a contribution
Blendin noted that coffee, cocoa, chocolate, tropical fruits, flowers and handicraft items were once again among the top sellers in the fair-trade segment, with coffee alone accounting for 36 percent of overall sales volumes.
He said more and more people realized they were able influence international supply chains with their own purchasing behavior. Blendin also pointed out that fair-trade products were now much easier to find in ordinary supermarket chains than a decade ago.
The Fair Trade Forum once more harshly criticized the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the free-trade agreement currently being negotiated between the European Union and the US.
It argued the slated deal would run counter to fair-trade principles insofar as it was bound to aggravate the situation of producers in Asia, Latin America and Africa who could face new supply hurdles in the wake of the transatlantic accord. Blendin demanded that representatives from the nations concerned must be allowed to participate directly in the TTIP talks.
hg/sgb/ (AFP, epd)