Despite inflation, fair trade continued to grow in 2023

Despite inflation, fair trade continued to grow in 2023
Despite inflation, fair trade continued to grow in 2023

Sales of fair trade labeled products in France increased by 1.8% in 2023reports Commerce équitable France, a collective for consultation and representation of French fair trade players, in its 2024 Observatory.

« The increase may seem modest but it is rather satisfactory in view of the decrease in food expenditure. “, rejoices Julie Stoll, general delegate of Commerce équitable France, who recalls that in the same year, according to INSEE, food consumption contracted by 4.7%.

The market represented 2.1 billion euros in France in 2023, highlights the collective which works to defend fair trade and provide a decent wage to workers.

11,000 products referenced and 580 companies involved

According to Fair Trade France, 11,000 fair trade products have been listed and offered for sale in France in 2023supported by eight main labels, seven of which concern the agri-food sector and one is dedicated to fair tourism.

Between 2020 and 2023, the number of these references increased by 44%. 80% of them and 72% of sales values ​​already carried an organic label in 2023.

These figures are supported by 580 companies, engaged in fair trade sectors on the French market. The latter offer mainly food products but also cosmetics, textiles, flowers, crafts and even tourist offers.

Segments expected to grow in 2023 include chocolate, with sales up 6% from 2022, and bananas, with sales up 10% from 2022.

Since the ESS law, an increase in “made in France” products

Within the whole range of products, the share of products of French origin is increasing. In 2023, sales of food products from fair trade channels “made in France” increased by 6%, three times more than all fair trade sales, reports the Observatory.

At the French level, fair trade will involve 12,000 producers grouped within 127 farmers’ organizations and more than 2,200 product references in 2023.

The inclusion of French production in the fair trade market dates back to the adoption of the law on the social and solidarity economy in 2014. « Previously, fair trade was reserved for sectors in developing countries. Products were necessarily imported ” explains Julie Stoll.

Since then, this specific legal framework has allowed the “made in France” fair trade sector to structure itself. In nine years, sales of French fair trade sectors have increased twelvefold within the French market to reach more than 791 million euros in 2023 and 37% of fair trade sales in 2023.

For their part, sales in France of products from international sectors tripled between 2014 and 2023 but fell by 0.5% over the last year. Overall, sales of fair trade products quadrupled between 2014 and 2023.

« The evolution of European legislation, in particular the directive on the duty of vigilance, creates a context favourable to fair trade “, analyzes Julie Maisonhaute, deputy general delegate of Commerce équitable France.

Elisabeth Crepin-Leblond

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