Few Hongkongers know about fair trade products

April 24, 2015 11:26
Customers check out a Wan Chai shop selling fair trade products. Hong Kong's per-capita consumption of such products is a measly HK$2. Photos: Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation/Facebook

Less three in 10 Hong Kong people have knowledge about fair trade, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers.

Nearly half of the respondents cannot tell a fair trade product, Sing Tao Daily reported Friday, citing the survey by the Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In contrast, 80 percent of consumers in Britain, the Netherlands and Finland recognize a fair trade label, the report said. 

Fair trade products are those that meet world standards on trading conditions and sustainability.

Hong Kong’s per-capita consumption of fair trade products was only HK$2 (26 US cents) in 2013 while that of Australia and New Zealand was about HK$70, Ip Tsz-ying, executive secretary of the foundation, said.

The gap is partly due to the fast pace in Hong Kong, which makes people less likely to examine product labels, Ip said.

Hong Kong has introduced 89 fair trade products this year, mostly snacks, drinks and personal care items.

These are available in some department stores, restaurants, coffee shops and fair trade sales centers.

The foundation is talking to chain stores and restaurants to expand the sales network for these products.

Also, it is planning partnerships with schools to promote consumer education.

Ip said the foundation is targeting 25 percent annual growth in fair trade products.

About HK$16 million (US$2.6 million) worth of fair trade products were sold in Hong Kong in 2013.

The figure compares with worldwide sales of HK$48 billion in 2012, according Fair Trade Hong Kong.  

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