SUGAR LAND, Texas, U.S. – Coffee is unquestionably one of the most popular morning beverages in America. In recent years, it has also become a powerful tool for boosting awareness about Fair Trade.
When Fair Trade coffee was first available, it began a conversation among consumers, especially the millennial generation, to spark global change and use the power of their purchases to positively impact the lives of farmers around the world.
However, why stop at just Fair Trade coffee? With World Fair Trade Day on May 14, Wholesome!, the leading provider of Fair Trade organic sugar, agave and honey, poses this timely thought, “Your coffee is Fair Trade. Why isn’t your sugar?.”
“Most consumers believe their level of impact stops after they’ve made their Fair Trade coffee selection,” said Sarah Miller, director of marketing at Wholesome!. “When you add Fair Trade, organic sugar to your Fair Trade coffee, your daily coffee habit becomes a catalyst for change.”
In 2001, Wholesome! began sourcing its Fair Trade organic cane sugar from farmers in Paraguay. In 2005, the company pioneered the Fair Trade sugar certification process.
Not only did this secure fair prices for each farmer’s crops, but it also guaranteed an additional premium that would be paid to the local farming cooperatives to use for community development.
Since then, Wholesome! has initiated Fair Trade organic honey certification with beekeepers in Mexico and Brazil, created more Fair Trade partnerships with sugar cane farmers in Malawi and sourced Fair Trade organic blue agave from Mexico.
In the last 10 years, Wholesome! has paid more than $11 million in Fair Trade premiums to these farming communities helping bring much needed electricity, clean drinking water, schools, healthcare and new farming equipment.
According to a recent report from the National Marketing Institute, 59% of consumers now recognize and understand the meaning behind the Fair Trade Certified label and 26% are more likely to purchase a product with that label.
The growing awareness of Fair Trade and the impact that it makes on poverty-stricken farmers around the world has inspired menu changes in independent and mainstream coffee shops alike. Consumers have responded enthusiastically by supporting Fair Trade with their purchases in coffee shops and in grocery stores.
The National Marketing Institute also identified millennials as likely supporters of Fair Trade related items stating that 70% of consumers under age 30 consider social issues before buying and 28% are more likely to buy a Fair Trade item.
However, the study noted that 85% of consumers reported that Fair Trade items are not always available options to purchase.
“With a growing population that is passionate about making a difference and also prone to considering the certification labels on the packages they buy, it’s only natural that Fair Trade coffee supporters would also be interested in Fair Trade sweeteners,” said Miller.
“In the spirit of World Fair Trade Day, we want to alert consumers to their options so they can make a choice with the biggest impact.”