Focus on Fairtrade Fortnight

Food marketing is big business. With the food industry worth an estimated £96.1bn to the UK economy, according to a report conducted back in 2013, it’s little wonder that the industry’s brands are major global influencers. This week has seen Fairtrade Fortnight kickstarted in the UK, with huge brands getting involved to raise awareness and demonstrate their commitment to the cause. Not sure what this involves? Read on to see the biggest brands taking part, learn more about the campaign, and its importance for social responsibility marketing.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Beginning on Monday 29th February and running until 13th March 2016, Fairtrade Fortnight is an awareness raising marketing campaign run by the Fairtrade Foundation, a non-profit organisation which licences the use of the by now well-known FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK. With the aim of ensuring fair prices for products and decent working conditions for workers, the Fairtrade Foundation has worked for over 20 years in conjunction with some of the biggest food brands to increase social responsibility and raise awareness.

Fairtrade Fortnight is the latest in a series of marketing campaigns designed to get the UK involved. Using one of Martin Luther King’s most famous quotes in which he proclaimed “before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world” as their headline message, Fairtrade Fortnight is asking businesses, schools and community groups to organise their own ‘Fairtrade breakfast’ and to learn more about the food insecurity facing so many people around the world. 

Brands backing the cause

The marketing campaign surrounding Fairtrade Fortnight is in full steam, with a multi-platform approach seeing the campaign taking to social media to spread the message and engage audiences with content. A series of short films are being used to tell the story of Fairtrade farmers and shared across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, while the campaign is also being seen across the London Underground and Trains networks in the form of giant billboards. 

So which brands are getting involved with the campaign? Among some of the biggest names supporting Fairtrade Fortnight is Aldi, who this week will be promoting their core Fairtrade products such as instant coffee, chocolate, tea and bananas and the launch of their own Fairtrade cotton t-shirts. Other supermarkets such as Waitrose and Co-op are offering discount on their Fairtrade ranges and upping their support of Fairtrade initiatives.

Another interesting example is Divine Chocolate, who have created a wealth of their own content for the occasion. From a live twitter tasting of their latest product to recipes for Divine chocolate pancakes to tie in with the Fairtrade breakfast campaign, Divine have demonstrated their continued commitment to engaging their consumers with socially-responsible spending. As a brand already heavily invested in the Fairtrade ethos, with 44% of the company being owned directly by farmers, Divine is paving the way for other brands to follow in the coming fortnight.

What does this mean for CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility is seen by many as one of the cornerstones of a successful marketing campaign. According to one recent article by The Guardian, ‘today, any brand that hasn't embraced it's purpose, and the notion of a multiple bottom line i.e. that brighter businesses measure success by more than just margin, deserves the insignificance that one day awaits them.’ 

With research suggesting that over half of global online consumers say they’re ‘willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact’, it is little wonder big brands are keen to buy in to the social responsibility marketing associated with Fairtrade.

By incorporating this into their wider marketing strategy, brands can not only reap rewards for their own organisation, but make a meaningful impact on their wider marketplace and the world. With industry experts like Forbes providing top tips for brands to create a strong CSR marketing strategy, including being involved with your audience and operating transparently and honestly, the time has never been more important to embrace CSR marketing than Fairtrade Fortnight. 

What are you waiting for? You can learn more about hosting your own Fairtrade breakfast here and start your socially responsible marketing journey. Pass the pancakes. 

Focus on Fairtrade Fortnight