Canadians continue to shop with values in mind despite Covid-19

By: Saeed Akhtar / Local Journalism Initiative
 Canadians are shopping with values in mind.  A survey conducted in 15 countries by GlobeScan on consumer sentiment finds certifications such as Fairtrade more critical than ever in the wake of the Covid-19.
“GlobeScan has been tracking ethical consumer trends for more than 20 years, and we have recently seen significant increases in people wanting to make more socially and environmentally responsible shopping choices. said Caroline Holme, Senior Director at GlobeScan. Consumers are making informed choices to maintain their values and beliefs when shopping, while awareness of global issues and the impact of consumer choices are on the rise.
The study shows that even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians continue to be particularly concerned with making purchasing decisions that ensure fair pay to farmers and workers, safe working conditions, environmental protection, and ensure no child labor was employed. “This latest research shows us that sustainable business practices are no longer a “nice to have” but a must-have,” said Julie Francoeur, Executive Director at Fairtrade Canada. 
In addition to increased consumer awareness of the Fairtrade Mark, the purchase frequency also rose in 2021. The study reports that Canadians are more easily able to associate Fairtrade with the values they choose that drive their purchasing decisions. “The increased purchasing power of Canadian youth is particularly promising, as we see increased awareness of how their choices impact farmers and workers sometimes half a world away. We celebrate that Canadian youth stand in solidarity with the farmers and workers of the Global South, especially as they continue to suffer the impacts of the pandemic as well as climate change.”
Canadian consumers feel an increased sense of trust, pride and community when supporting Fairtrade. Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers feel they are standing together with the people who grow their food and that by buying Fairtrade, they are part of a community fighting for a fairer and more just supply chain.
Increased awareness of Fairtrade in Canada also impacts farmers and workers in the Global South. As Canadians continue to increase demand for Fairtrade products, businesses will increasingly choose to source on fair terms of trade, allowing producers to build sustainable, healthy communities for future generations. “Fairtrade farmers and workers are doing their part, for instance by improving farming methods, adapting to climate change, and expanding positive opportunities for women and young people,” said Dr. Nyong’o, Fairtrade International’s Global CEO.