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French fair-trade sector seeks revival

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Thursday, 06 June 2013

French fair-trade sector seeks revival

Fearing a slip of the local fair-trade sector, the French government announced on 29 April a plan to inject some €7 million into the flagging sector. The money will both beef up the distribution capacity of small producers in the developing world and retailers already present on the French market.
France’s appetite for fair-trade products lags behind European counterparts, with the sector turning increasingly to producers in the developing world for a recovery solution, EurActiv France and Germany report.
While widely available in specialist stores and French supermarkets, products bearing the ‘fair-trade’ label have suffered during the economic crisis. Sales have slumped since 2007, with France’s per capita consumption of €6.4 well behind other European countries such as Switzerland or the United Kingdom, where the consumer spends on average more than €34 over the year on fair trade products. In Belgium, the sale of fair-trade goods grew by 12% in 2012 compared to the previous year.
Fair-trade networks have started to take off in developing countries. Growers of coffee, sugar, cocoa and cotton especially seek this way a modality to get on the circuit, as their products are priced low in conventional markets. “It is no longer a niche,” said the representative of the producers association for the developing world, Agricord.

Source: Euractiv