Christmas 2017 set to be the most ethical on record

Dramatic growth across key sectors of Christmas shopping indicates that this year will be the most ethical Christmas on record

According to the latest Ethical Consumer Markets Report published by Triodos Bank and Ethical Consumer, ethical food and drink has seen 9.7 per cent growth in 2017, while conventional foods have struggled.

The organic food and drink market grew to £1.81bn, a year-on-year increase of 3.8 per cent.

Sales of sustainable fish increased by 36.9 per cent and the sector is now worth £694m.

The number of consumers converting to vegetarianism is also on the rise, with a YouGov survey carried out as part of the report stating that the number of vegetarians increased by 30 per cent this year.

Rob Harrison, co-editor at Ethical Consumer said, “The growth in local shopping is a particularly significant trend in a world where it can feel like everything is going online. It appears that demand for locally produced artisan food, from bread to craft beer, is driving a revival of local shopping. Shoppers increasingly want to know where their food comes from, and that it's come from somewhere as local as possible to reduce its carbon footprint.

“There has also been a big trend away from meat consumption generally. At Christmas time this could be, as they say, good news for turkeys.”

The latest Ethical Consumer Markets Report reveals that the UK's ethical market is now worth £81.3 billion across 27 business sectors. The overall ethical market grew by 3.2 per cent in a year when growth generally was just below 1 per cent.

Bevis Watts, managing director at Triodos Bank UK, said:

“It is encouraging to see that more and more people are consciously choosing ethical and local options at Christmas and rejecting mindless consumerism. The Ethical Consumer Markets Report is incredibly important in helping understand and promote the shift that is happening towards ethical purchasing and behaviours. Where we spend, save and invest has a huge impact on our environment and the world around us."

A recent Impact Investing survey by Triodos Bank revealed that two thirds (64 per cent) of people believe individuals have the power to have a positive impact through the way they use their money.

The Ethical Consumer Markets Report has been acting as a barometer of ethical spending since 1999 by tracking sales data across a wide range of consumer sectors from food to fashion.

Award-winning craft chocolate producer, Chocolate Tree. connects customers with the whole process and origin through authentic transparency. Alastair Gower, owner said, “People ask why should I shop ethically? But I flip it on its head and ask, why shouldn’t you? People have come to believe that cheap, mass produced food is the norm. But Christmas is all about indulgence and extra treats.

"We pay twice as much for the cacao we buy from our farmers than what they would get on the commodity market. But in return we work with them to make sure the harvest is to the highest standards and done in a sustainable way. People are blown away when they get a taste of real high-quality chocolate, it’s a different experience. And for me, a Christmas treat can only be a pleasure if it doesn’t come on the back of someone’s health or living.”

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