2014 saw a record breaking 22.2 million litres, the equivalent of 30 million bottles of Fairtrade wine sold globally, an increase in sales volumes of 6%. There are now 9,800 hectares of wine around the world dedicated to producing Fairtrade wine.
This not only reflects the growing influence and understanding of the FAIRTRADE Mark amongst consumers and the international wine trade, but a willingness amongst larger wine producers, in relevant countries, to switch to Fairtrade certification.
The record sales resulted in a Fairtrade Premium of Euros 873,600 in 2013, available for investment in community projects.
There are now 45 producer organisations and wineries globally involved in making Fairtrade wine. The top selling markets are the UK, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. But the countries showing the highest growth are South Africa, Norway, Canada and Denmark.
This breaks down as:
- 26: South Africa
- 9: Chile
- 8: Argentina
- 1: Brazil
- 1: Lebanon
But there are big differences around the world about how much Fairtrade wine is being consumed.
UK accounts for half of Fairtrade wine sales
The UK is far and away the biggest consumer of Fairtrade wine, accounting for half of total global sales.
UK sales were up 9% year-on-year between 2013/2014 to 10.8m litres, a value of £27.5m.
The Co-operative’s role
The UK's large market share can be attributed in main to the commitment and work done by The Co-operative retail group, which has been a strong supporter of the Fairtrade movement since its inception in 1994.
It sold the world’s first Fairtrade certified wine, a Carménère from Chile, back in 2004, and has since expanded to become the largest retailer of Fairtrade wines, not just in the UK, where it commands 66% of the market, but worldwide where it has a 32% share.
The Co-operative claims to sell one in three Fairtrade wine bottles sold anywhere in the world and two out of three in the UK. It reports it sold 8.2m Fairtrade wine bottles between October 2014 and October 2015.
The Co-operative’s Fairtrade wine range now includes up to 25 products from all three major Fairtrade wine producing countries, Argentina, Chile and South Africa.
Swedish Fairtrade sales soar
Fairtrade wine sales in Sweden soared by 52% in 2013 to £4.2m. This was down to the country’s state-owned drinks monopoly, Systembolaget, increasing its focus on ethical based tenders for wine suppliers.
German discounters boost sales
Germany saw its sales of Fairtrade wine increase by 32% in 2013 to £810,000 as Fairtrade wine became widely available in the big discounters, such as Aldi, Lidl and Netto.