The Fairtrade Foundation released figures showing that an 81% sales increase of Fairtrade goods in 2007 was experienced amounting to 493 million Pounds, the biggest numbers achieved by the banana trade. The highest increase rate was however, experienced by Fairtrade cotton: an astounding 660%. In the UK alone, each household spends an average of 190 Pounds on Fairtrade and organic food annually, revealing a continuous rise over the past five years, the Co-operative Bank of UK indicates in its Ethical Consumerism Report of 2007. Progress has also been noted in their own homes: in 2007 they spent 6.2 billion Pounds on environmentally friendly and energy efficient home products. The consumption of green energy has risen by 135% in the same year.
Agriculture as well has made leaps forward in the aspect of environment-friendly farming. The EU-commission reported that "the share of organic or in-conversion land area increased from 0.5% in 1993 to 7% in 2003 of the total supported land area". This is still a small figure; nevertheless, it shows that organic farming is becoming an accepted alternative and that there is hope for more conversion. The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) confirms that 30.4 million hectares of acre land are used for ecologically-friendly agricultural practices worldwide, the greatest areas to be found in Australia and Europe.
We can help create change by supporting Fairtrade and organically-produced products. Social responsibility promotes environmental conservation. The Max-Havelaar Foundation encourages consumers through this statement which indeed calls for contemplation: "your product tastes better when you know the farmer and his children in the South can make a living out of it."
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