Australian consumers appear to be making more ethical choices at the checkout according to a new survey, which reveals understanding of the Fairtrade label is on the rise.
Research for Fairtrade International by GlobeScan, which surveyed17,000 customers in 24 countries, found Aussie shoppers’ recognition of the Fairtrade label has risen to 44 per cent which is up from 37 per cent last year and 28 per cent in 2009.
Across the globe the logo is now the most recognised ethical label with six in 10 consumers having seen it used.
Research also revealed 66 per cent of Australian shoppers trust the label compared to 64 per cent globally.
As for expectations of companies dealing with farmers and workers in developing countries, 93 per cent of Aussies believe they should pay farmers and workers fairly compared to the international average of 85 per cent.
Fifty-five per cent of local shoppers who recognise the Fairtrade label say it makes it easier for them to decide if products are ethically produced while 88 per cent of all Australians surveyed believe an independent, third party certification is the best way to verify an item’s social and environmental claims.
Fairtrade ANZ CEO Stephen Knapp says the study shows Australians care where their products come from and that farmers and craftspeople get a good deal out of it.
“Aussie shoppers know that by choosing a product with the Fairtrade label they are directly helping to create a fairer world for all and are increasingly expecting companies to provide them more opportunities to make the fair and ethical choice at the checkout,” he says.
The proof is also evident in spending patterns. Shoppers across the world spent 4.36 billion euros on Fairtrade goods in 2010 while Australians spent $120 million, up 200 per cent on the year before.

This article first appeared on GiftGuide Online