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Brands Slacking in Push for Fairtrade

Many Fairtrade brands are failing to maximise potential sales by assuming that consumers won't buy Fairtrade during the recession, according to brand management agency Brand Reputation.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Brands Slacking in Push for Fairtrade

Many Fairtrade brands are failing to maximise potential sales by assuming that consumers won't buy Fairtrade during the recession, according to brand management agency Brand Reputation.

Fairtrade sales have taken a noticeable hit since the recession began, but Graeme Crossley, MD of Brand Reputation is urging Fairtrade brands not to admit defeat and believes that people are still prepared to pay when they see
a value in the purchase.

'Brand owners are becoming too influenced by the media saying that people are not buying Fairtrade and this is affecting how they conduct their marketing activity going forward, but the truth is that they need to be even more aggressive with their marketing tactics than they have been in the past if they want to regain and build on market share. People will pay a premium in the current climate if they see a value in doing so and brands need to work harder at getting consumers to believe in that value and act on it," says Crossley.

Crossley's comments mirror the results of recent research from Nielson which revealed that consumers were less inclined to pay for Fairtrade goods now than last year. But Crossley is of the opinion that it is not simply market conditions that have resulted in declining sales but a shift in mindset from brand owners, along with the fact that many Fairtrade brands simply don't have a strong enough brand reputation yet to sustain sales in a downturn.

"Fairtrade is still a relatively new concept which is why it is proving harder to maintain sales when times get tough. Many brands are shying away from shouting about their products through fear of being told they are too expensive for shoppers in the current climate, but the fact is that people are still paying a premium for food that matters to them. People still buy free range eggs, they still buy locally sourced produce and they will continue to buy Fairtrade if they can see just what impact it is having on the communities it supports," says Crossley.

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