Selling an ethical cup of coffee has become big business. Likewise, the continued growth of guilt-free cappuccinos is one of the biggest recent success stories of the ethical consumer movement.
Sales of Fairtrade coffee sales alone increased by 8% in the year 2013-14. This is consistent with a longer term trend that has seen Fairtrade retail sales of coffee beans grow by 250% in the decade from 2004 to 2014. This period has also seen a proliferation of other ethical coffee accreditation schemes, including Rainforest Alliance and UTZ.
The coffee market appears to be heading the same way as the market for tea, where you’ll now struggle to find a tea brand that doesn’t carry some type of ethical accreditation. Research by Ethical Consumer has shown that nine out of 10 tea brands carry some kind of ethical accreditation, while seven out of 13 brands of coffee bean are ethically accredited.