The British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) argues that ethical products can provide a valuable ‘niche market’ that should be exploited for the right reasons.
Commenting on the rise of fair trade goods, Kate Meakin, a spokesperson for BAFTS, says:’ I think with having a fair trade shop you get a loyal customer base that… [has] a similar value base and will stick with you for that reason.
‘With the mainstream [customer], the interest and recognition of fair trade and the importance of fair trade is growing.’
She adds: ‘Members come into it because they believe in fair trade values, rather than [thinking about] the advantage for them as a small retailer.’
According to the Fairtrade Foundation, sales of fair trade goods rose by 59 per cent in 2005-6.