Last May, Fairtrade Belgium announced a historic increase in the sales of fair trade products in Belgium: + 41% in 2019. An excellent result, bringing annual average consumption of fair trade per Belgian at 19.2 euros.
But the view changes after a comparison of this average shopping basket with average consumption of Fairtrade products in other European countries. Belgians certainly do better than Italians (5.3 euros) or the French (13.45 euros), but perform poorer than the Germans (24.55 euros), Luxembourgers (35.60 euros), Austrians (39.44 euros) or the Swedes (40.89 euros). And what about the Finns (54.76 euros), Irish (79.55 euros) or, the champions in all categories, the Swiss with 85.44 euros spent per inhabitant.
Even if, ideally, the comparison should take into account the varying cost of living (which is higher in, say, Switzerland than in Belgium), the numbers show that Belgians should do more to really ‘Make Belgium the country of Fair Trade’. The Fair Trade Week, which is scheduled from 7 to 17 October, offers an occasion to boost fairness in trade.