Ethical consumers buck the recession
Spending on products that carry a green or ethical label has grown by almost a fifth over the last two years, in spite of the recession, according to the latest report by Co–operative Financial Services.
Such goods include eco–friendly travel, food products such as Fairtrade, and other goods.
Beneath the totals, there have been some winners and losers. Fairtrade has enjoyed significant growth. Organic food has suffered.
Some of this can be explained by the increasing move of the Fairtrade label into the mainstream. For instance, over the period covered by the report, companies like Cadbury have introduced Fairtrade standards on mainstream products that are not sold to customers on the basis of the ethical link.
Whether the figures represent the rise of the ethical consumer, or the filtering of higher standards into the mainstream, is an open question.
Co–operative Financial Services seems to be in no doubt. Tim Franklin, the company’s chief operating officer, said: “This annual report clearly shows that the growth in ethical consumerism continues to outstrip the market as a whole. I have no doubt that this will come as a surprise to those commentators who thought ethical considerations would be the first casualty of an economic downturn.”
Source: Business Respect