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82% of ‘generation fairtrade’ teens want companies to behave responsibly



Young Britons who have grown up in the era of a flourishing fairtrade market are highly sensitive to global issues and want to see businesses taking action to end poverty, inequality and climate change – according to a new analysis from the Fairtrade Foundation.

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The survey found that 82% of UK teens think companies need to act more responsibly, while just 45% say they trust businesses to do so. Almost all the youngsters surveyed (97%) said they are familiar with the fairtrade mark and system.

Michael Gidney, chief executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, said, “From fast fashion to constant upgrades to their smartphones, you might be forgiven for thinking that today’s teens only care about a product’s price tag and whether it looks cool enough to be Instagrammed.

“But ‘Generation Fairtrade’ also care deeply about some of the biggest global issues that we face. They have grown up with fairtrade products at home, and may even have attended one of the UK’s 1,000 Fairtrade schools – so they are aware that by taking a simple action such as buying fairtrade or signing an online petition, they can persuade businesses and governments to act more ethically – and the good news for all of us is that they want to use their power to change the world for the better.”

The research found that more than half of teens surveyed are deeply worried about global issues, such as human rights, poverty and climate change, and are willing to take action, by participating in events and signing petitions for good causes. Most of them also want to see more fairtrade products at home.

Caroline Holme, director at GlobeScan, who carried out the survey, added, “Young people are just as switched onto global issues as older generations and we see a similar gap in perceptions between trust and expectations of companies. The number of thoughtful answers to unprompted questions far exceeded what we typically see in online surveys.”

Photo: British Province of Carmelites via flickr

Further reading:

Consumer campaigning set to be discussed at Ethical Consumer conference

Nespresso commits £330m to sustainability scheme

British shoppers want cheaper fair trade products, survey finds

One in four people happy to spend more on ethical products

The Guide to Sustainable Spending 2013