The rise of Fairtrade and ethical shopping in the UK


The time between 28th February and 11th March marks the Fairtrade fortnight, which is aimed to raise awareness about the farmers and workers who grow our food. The Fairtrade logo is the most recognisable ethical emblem. Established in 1992, the organisation has grown in prominence and reputation and is extremely popular in the UK with over 500 towns boasting the Fairtrade town status. Fairtrade started out as a social movement whose goal was to help producers in developing countries achieve fair and sustainable trading agreements with developed nations, in relation, particularly, to the trading of commodity goods such as coffee, cacao, fresh fruit and flowers, to name but a few.

Over the years there has been an rise in the demand for not only Fairtrade products, but organic, vegan and eco-friendly products. Consumers are a lot more socially and environmentally aware and they want to ensure that the products they buy are ethically sourced, sustainably grown and friendly to the environment. This form of ethical shopping has seen a significant growth of 32% during 2017, and the market is estimated to be worth £81.3 billion.  As a result, many larger multi-national brands have gone to great lengths to improve and to prove their ethical credentials.  Many have also applied strict guidelines for their supply chain to adhere to.

In the UK the ethical shopping movement is particularly relevant where a recent YouGov survey revealed that almost a quarter of shoppers bought products because of their ethical reputations. Research conducted by Unilever revealed that 33 % of shoppers choose to buy from brands which are socially and environmentally friendly, and 53% of UK shoppers feel better buying products which are sustainably produced. The challenge for brands is to communicate their ethical brand story effectively in a competitive in-store environment.

In-store, consumers are looking to brands and retailers to help them make more informed purchasing decisions. Field marketing agency, Orchid, works with leading brands across the UK to engage and educate shoppers at the point of purchase. Orchid offers an innovative and creative approach to engaging customers that can include anything from educational-based sampling to bespoke experiential marketing solutions. With expert sales teams based throughout the UK, Orchid understands the nuances of the UK market and is best placed to help brands grow and flourish.

If you are a Fairtrade brand or a brand with ethical credentials that is looking to enter the UK market, get in-touch with Orchid to discuss how we are able to assist you.

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