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More than half of Scotland’s shoppers unaware of exploitation in the food chain

Nearly half of shoppers in Scotland are put off buying ethical products because they’re too expensive, new research has revealed.

The survey commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight also found that 13% of consumers don’t buy ethical products because they “don’t trust claims” made about ethically sourced products.

The new research has shown that 88.8% of shoppers in the Scotland think quality of products is an important factor when considering where to shop. This is followed by the price (86.4%), the location (70.2%) and then the ethical credentials of the store (48.5%).

More than half (50.3%) were unaware of exploitation in the food chain while almost a quarter (24.2%) of consumers in Scotland admit to never thinking about who produces their food and drink. Only 9.3% of the survey admitted to ‘always’ thinking about who produces their food and drink.

When it comes to the Fairtrade products that we are buying, the top most purchased is coffee with 46.6% of us buying them. Second is bananas at 46% and third is sugar at 29.8%. With banana sales in the UK expected to reach 820,000 tonnes this year (that’s over 1,500 Boeing 747s), can more be done to encourage Brits to buy Fairtrade?

The research was released to mark the start of the Fairtrade Fortnight “Come On In” campaign, inviting members of the public to “come on in” to Fairtrade and experience the world of the people who produce the things we love to eat, drink, and wear.

The campaign will also explore how businesses, farmers, workers and shoppers come together through Fairtrade to break the stranglehold of poverty prices.

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