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British Fair Trade Sales Near $1 Billion

The movement is now starting to have "a significant" effect on commerce, thanks to supermarket sales, according to the Fairtrade Foundation

Once an ethical mark found only on the odd jar of coffee or in Oxfam shops, the Fairtrade movement has experienced a surge in popularity to hit sales of almost £500m. Twice as many Fairtrade products were sold in 2007 as in the previous year, rising in value by 81 per cent -- double the trend for the past decade.

The movement to help poor farmers abroad, confined to only a few sectors in 2000, is now starting to have a "significant" impact on commerce, according to the Fairtrade Foundation, which released the statistics to mark Fairtrade Fortnight, which starts today.