Luxembourg among top Fairtrade spenders
By Thomas Klein and Yannick Lambert
People in Luxembourg bought €24.4 million worth of Fairtrade labelled products in 2020, an increase of 12% compared to 2019, making the Grand Duchy one of the top spenders on the NGO label, the Luxembourg branch said in a press release on Tuesday.
On average, Luxembourg consumers spent €39 per person last year on fairly traded goods, ranking sixth worldwide, with the frontrunners being Switzerland at €99 euros, followed by Ireland at €79 and Sweden at €46, Fairtrade Luxembourg said.
A total of 2,919 Fairtrade products were registered in Luxembourg at the end of 2020, which represents a growth of 10% as 253 new Fairtrade-certified products were present on the Luxembourg market.
The label by the non-governmental organisation evaluates the respect for human rights, including child labour, takes into consideration the social and environmental impact of products and their supply chains, and fair remuneration. Luxembourg itself lacks binding due diligence legislation for companies based here.
Fairtrade International first focused on the coffee industry, but now covers a range of products such as flowers, rice, tea and cocoa.
Although fewer people went to restaurants and cafés last year as a result of the measures caused by the pandemic, the proportion of fairly traded coffee in Luxembourg remained stable with a market share of just over 10%, which corresponds to 421 tons of coffee. Close to half of the roses sold in the Grand Duchy are also Fairtrade-labelled.
"Every fair trade product that is bought here in Luxembourg opens up development opportunities for people in the global south. In this sense, it leaves a positive footprint of sustainable development and respect for human rights," Jean-Louis Zeien, President of Fairtrade Luxembourg, told the Luxemburger Wort.
According to a report published by the International Labour Organization and Unicef in June 2021, the number of child labour victims worldwide is 160 million. As the pandemic hit global supply chains last year, families' disposable incomes shrunk and the proportion of child labour rose, the report found.
"As a result of the pandemic, around nine million children could slip into child labour", Zeien said. "When it comes to fair trade, Luxembourg is doing quite well, but with spending of €39 per person there is certainly still room for improvement."