Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand general manager Steve Knapp says retail sales were ‘‘a couple of thousand dollars’’ when it started in New Zealand in 2005. ‘‘Now it’s $52 million,’’ he says. ‘‘That’s tremendous support from New Zealand consumers.’’
Mr Knapp says though people will always want to bag a bargain, they are starting to weigh up the true cost.
‘‘It’s got to a point where people are asking ‘If I’m buying it for this price, how much is the person making it getting’?
‘‘It’s not just about the price, it’s about the quality and whether it’s being produced in a sustainable way.
‘‘In the end nobody wants to feel like they’ve got a bargain at the expense of kids working in sweatshops.’’
Conscious Consumers is a business accreditation programme which gives the public information about cafes, restaurants, delicatessen, and suppliers that use sustainable products and practices.
It was established by Ben Gleisner in Wellington in 2010, expanding to Auckland in 2011.
The 12 ‘‘badges’’ businesses can collect by following ethical practices include free range, fair trade, organic, composting, ecocleaners, eco-packaging, sustainable fish and recycling.
Auckland spokeswoman Adriana Avendano Christie says it costs between $29 and $49 plus GST to accredit a business.