(Reuters) – Global sales of ethical Fairtrade products including sugar and coffee rose 12 percent to almost 5 billion euros (3.92 billion pounds) in 2011, Fairtrade International said on Tuesday.
The rate slowed from 27 percent growth in 2010 as the global economic downturn hit consumer spending.
Sales were boosted by growth in both established markets and emerging markets.
The Germany-based organisation said that in the UK, its biggest market, sales increased 12 percent on the year, while in Germany sales grew by 18 percent.
The sales growth was spread across Fairtrade’s leading products, with cocoa up 14 percent, coffee up 12 percent, and bananas and sugar up 9 percent.
Farmers who sell to the Fairtrade market are paid a minimum price plus a premium to invest in social, environmental and economic development.
(Reporting by Sarah McFarlane, editing by Jane Baird)