Sales of products in the United Kingdom carrying the Fairtrade mark reached an estimated retail value in excess of £700 million by the end of last year, research into the latest trends has demonstrated.
The continued development of Fairtrade in the UK bucks the global downturn with a 43 per cent increase over 2007.
Almost 18 million families in Britain bought Fairtrade goods in 2008, representing over 70 per cent of households overall - up from 66.7 per cent in 2007.
During the latest Fairtrade Fortnight, an estimated 11,000 separate campaigning events were held, ranging from coffee mornings to fashion shows and regional debates by Fairtrade towns, churches and schools around the UK.
The Fair Furniture Network (FFN) is one of the latest worldwide organizational initiatives for Fair Trade in a particular sector (www.fairfurniture.org).
FFN was founded in January 2009 and says it "works hard to install principles of Fair Trade in [the] furniture industry in any level of chain."
The ten principles of Fair Trade practiced by the Fair Furniture Network are:
1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers or suppliers at all levels within the industry.
2. Transparency and accountability.
3. Capacity building, both for labourers and for producers/.
4. Promoting just trading practices.
5. Paying a fair price for goods.
6. Gender equality.
7. Promoting a safe and healthy working environment.
8. Opposition to all child labour.
9. Responsibility towards the environment.
10. Maintenance of fair trade relations through long-term sustainability and solidarity.
For more information, go to: http://researchfairtrade.com