Consumer spending on Fairtrade products rose 10 per cent in 2015 to €250 million new figures show, as Bewleys announced plans to spend €5.3 million to make all its fresh-coffee products Fairtrade-certified by the end of the year.
New figures compiled by Fairtrade Ireland, an organisation set up to encourage fairer trade conditions between Irish consumers and producers and workers in developing countries, show consumer spending on certified bananas increased 20 per cent last year while coffee sales jumped by 11 per cent.
Details of the increased sales were released to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight, which got underway on Monday.
According to an international report carried out by Globescan, Ireland has the highest level of unprompted awareness of Fairtrade and the second highest level of trust in the Fairtrade Mark.
"These figures are encouraging, but what's more inspiring is the fact that during one of the worst economic challenges our country has faced Irish consumers never wavered, they continued to purchase products with the Fairtrade Mark and the steady growth in Fairtrade sales has continued again this year," said Peter Gaynor, executive director of Fairtrade Ireland.
Meanwhile, Bewleys, which became the first Irish company to go fairtrade back in 1996, said it is to convert all of its branded fresh coffee to Fairtrade-certified coffee by the end of the year. This will amount to $6 million in business for Fairtrade coffee farmers in developing countries, according to the company which currently sources 50 per cent of all its coffee beans through the Fairtrade certification system.