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Fair Trade certified products increase

OAKLAND, Calif. — A third-party certifier of Fair Trade consumer products said that 2010 saw an increase of such products on the market.

Fair Trade USA said that the Fair Trade market in 2010 saw a boost in both new and existing product categories. New products included apparel, green peppers, vodka and a wide array of herbs, spices and extracts. What's more, Fair Trade coffee and cocoa continued to expand. Fair Trade USA certified nearly 109 million lbs. of Fair Trade coffee, while nearly 3.9 million lbs. of cocoa received Fair Trade certification.

Fair Trade products are classified as goods that are certified as being produced by workers and farmers that are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities.

"As consumer demand for ethically produced goods increases, we're able to chip away at the cycle of poverty that grips farming communities around the world," said Paul Rice, Fair Trade USA president and CEO. "Through their participation in Fair Trade, farming families have earned more than $220 million in additional income since 1998, $56 million of which will be invested specifically in community development programs that provide access to education and life-saving health care."

or the complete 2010 almanac report, visit FairTradeUSA.com.