Small firms can reap fair trade reward

Retail based SMEs could increase their sales by stocking a range of fair trade goods but should only do so if they believe in the ethics, environmentalists have claimed.

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.

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