Fairtrade Poland officially launched on 8th October at Poland’s largest organic event, Natura Food Fair. This gave consumers and businesses the opportunity to buy Fairtrade-certified products.
The country joins 26 other Fairtrade organisations across the world to promote Fairtrade on the local market.
The largest of the new European Union member states, Poland has a rising interest in ethical consumerism, with the country’s economy growing at about 3 per cent, faster than most EU countries.
Fairtrade products are already on sale in many Polish stores. Coffee is the most popular Fairtrade product, accounting for more than 70 percent of all sales. PKN Orlen, a national chain of petrol stations, now sells Fairtrade coffee in more than 1,400 of their Stop Cafe outlets, making it the biggest driver of Poland’s Fairtrade sales to date. The Fairtrade Poland team has ambitions to expand the product range further, including introducing Fairtrade bananas next year.
Although the awareness of the FAIRTRADE mark in Poland is currently at 28% (compared to 93% in the UK), the number of people buying Fairtrade products on a regular basis has seen sharp increase in the last two years, 13% in 2013-2015. (GlobeScan research 2015).
Andrzej Żwawa, Chair of Fairtrade Poland’s management board, says:
We’re really excited about the possibilities offered by officially joining the Fairtrade system.
“The launch during the Natura Food Fair demonstrates our strong ties to the organic movement, and to the pioneering organic businesses who were the first to introduce Fairtrade products to the Polish market.
“We are building our capacities, investing in people who can help build the market for Fairtrade products in Poland. At the same time we need to educate Polish consumers so that they know what Fairtrade is and the difference it makes to farmers and workers in the Global South – an important step in a country where awareness of ethical labels is still quite low.”
The journey to setting up Fairtrade Poland began in 2009 when several Polish NGOs and small businesses formed an informal coalition working for ethical trade. The coalition registered as a non-profit foundation in 2013 and has now become Fairtrade Poland.
Fairtrade Poland is also active in advocacy, awareness-raising and education work, via for example the Fair Trade Schools campaign.
The FAIRTRADE mark is the most widely-known ethical label in the world. Around 1.65 million farmers and workers in across 74 developing countries currently sell their products as Fairtrade, benefitting from increased incomes and the Fairtrade Premium that they invest in vital business, social and environmental projects. In 2015, the UK Fairtrade market was worth an estimated £1.6 billion in retail sales. This generated an estimated £29.8 million in the Fairtrade Premium.