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Ethical consumerism ‘no longer niche’

Ethical consumerism has gone from niche to mainstream, a new report has stated, as the number of international consumers looking for Fair Trade wine also rises nearly 10% in a year.

According to Wine Intelligence’s report looking at opportunities for sustainable, organic and lower alcohol wines (SOLA), younger consumers are the key demographic for ‘alternative ‘wines due to their open-minded attitudes and willingness to invest time, education and money into their health.

The report found that young wine drinkers were not only more likely to purchase alternative wines such as organic, Fairtrade or sustainable wines compared with older drinkers, but were also more willing in general to pay a premium for wine in the off- and on-trade. However the report showed their was an element of consumer ‘fatigue’ around the term ‘organic’.

Meanwhile, the number of consumers looking for Fair Trade wine grew by 10 percentage points, according to the Fair Trade Foundation.

A new consumer survey from the organisation found that around 39% of international shoppers who were aware of Fairtrade wine now looked for the Fairtrade mark when shopping, up from 29% in 2010.

The study looked at attitudes across 8 countries and asked around 9,200 consumers.

It also found nine of out ten UK consumers recognised the Fairtrade trademark.

The Fairtrade Foundation’s wine supply chain manager Sarah Singer said there was a very strong body of shoppers who identify with the values of Fairtrade and want businesses to play fair.

“Where they can, shoppers will reward companies that do the right thing through their purchasing choices, and more than ever seem prepared to influence others with their opinions,” she said.

She added that there had been an increase in the growth, breadth, quality and availability of Fairtrade wine in the UK.

UK convenience retailer The Co-op is currently the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade wine with a 36-strong range, having boosted the number of ethical wines in recent years and working with producers to convert their wines to the label.  Fairtrade ranges are also available on the UK high street at Waitrose, M&S, Morrisons, Tesco, Majestic, and Lidl, independent stores and online.

Fairtrade wines are currently produced in South Africa – the world’s largest producer, which accounts two- thirds of all Fairtrade wine sales, Argentina, Chile and Lebanon, with more than 45 Fairtrade producers, and growers working with the organisation.

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