Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Value of the ethical consumerism at ?26bn

Co-op calculates value of the ethical consumerism at �26bn -

December 14, 2005

The dramatic rise in the sales of Fairtrade label products ? now worth over �140 million a year ? is well documented. But the value of the Fairtrade category is dwarfed by wider spending on ?ethical? goods says the Co-operative Bank, which has just carried out a survey into ethical consumerism.

The Co-op survey found that the value of ethical consumption increased by 15% in 2004 to a staggering �25.8 billion. The reason for this huge figure is that it includes categories such as ethically invested funds (valued at over �10 billion) and products and services bought because they offset climate change (�3.4 billion). Spending ethically on food ? including organic food and free-range eggs ? surpassed �4 billion for the first time, whilst spending on ethical fashion reached �680 million.

Consumer awareness of energy efficiency also increased, with the amount spent on energy-efficient electrical appliances rising by 23.5% to �1.3 billion. Spending on eco-friendly cleaning products rose to �13 million, from �11 million in the previous year.

The survey found that 54% of those questioned agreed with the statement: ?As a consumer, I can make a difference to how responsibly a company behaves.? This compared with 19% the year before. Greater awareness of ethical issues also led to an increase of boycotts on foods and shops.

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