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Fairtrade wine sector set for "massive growth"

Published:  29 September, 2010

Fairtrade has surpassed organic as the latest ethical product set for massive growth in the alcohol sector, according to recent research by Datamonitor.

It revealed the UK Fairtrade alcohol market is currently the largest in Europe and was worth £26m last year -nearly double that of the US market and will continue to expand, with expected year-on-year growth of 18% over the next five years.

Datamonitor believes that wine is particularly suited to Fairtrade as shoppers are interested and informed about the origins and production conditions associated with wine compared to other consumer goods.

Fairtrade wine can provide this detailed information whilst at the same time encouraging social and economic change.

Katrina Diamonon, analyst at Datamonitor, said: "In the UK over the last year, we have seen a flurry of activity in Fairtrade wine despite the economic pressures being faced by consumers. This activity has been driven by an increase in the quality of Fairtrade wines, as well as awareness of the concept as a whole."

She added: "There is also the social aspect of drinking to consider, and what the brand we drink says about us. As more than half of us place considerable importance on choosing brands that match our outlook and attitudes on life, it would be fair to assume that with increased publicity around ethicality, choosing a Fairtrade bottle of wine is becoming more fashionable."

However, Datamonitor warned as big brands have seen the potential in the Fairtrade market, the industry is in danger of appearing over-commercialised to consumers.