|Fair Trade Retail in New Zealand|
|01 December 2012|
With a Trade Aid shop in the majority of cities and towns in New Zealand and with the country’s small population of 4.5 million people, there has been little interest in other Fair Trade retailers becoming involved in selling Fair Trade handcrafts to date.
However, around 2004, Fairtrade labelled food products began appearing in supermarkets and other retail shops. Trade Aid offered their expertise and knowledge in helping many of the food importers get established. Today, there a good number of businesses involved in importing Fair Trade food items. In recent years, there has been an explosion of labelled food products for sale and nearly every supermarket is now selling Fair Trade. Bananas have been the latest product to be imported and appeared on the scene in 2008, initially from Samoa, but now they are primarily sourced from Ecuador.
Fair Trade apparel has begun in a small way with a few businesses importing t-shirts from India. Sales of these have been mainly targeted at the conference and corporate market with few sold through conventional retail stores. A small number of local manufactures have imported Fairtrade certified cotton and are making locally made garments that carry the Fairtrade label. There is quite a lot of interest in Fair Trade apparel , especially double certified with organic, in forums and interest discussion boards and it looks to be the next growth area. It will be difficult to progress though as the New Zealand apparel market is heavily dominated by Australian brands and chains and so far they have been reluctant to become involved. It will likely be the small independent shops who pick up this challenge.
By Geoff White