Retail in Asia

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Raising the fair trade banner in Hong Kong

Overseas and local consumers have increasingly embraced the concept of fair trade and become more aware of the social, ecological, as well as human and animal rights implications of their consumption. A recent survey released in March 2010 (conducted by MasterCard Worldwide in 13 markets during the fourth quarter of 2009) showed that 65 percent of Hong Kong respondents have bought fair trade products.

In support of Fairtrade Fortnight organised by Fairtrade Hong Kong, all merchandise at ThreeSixty is being offered at a 20 percent discount from 1-11 April, with event material distributed at the stores. The aim is to engage the broader community and encourage consumers to support fair trade practices.

There is a variety of fair trade products available, including coffees, teas, juices, chocolates, grains, flours, sugars, honeys, noodles and even eco-friendly shopping bags. Below are just some of the fair trade products available at ThreeSixty and an explanation of the philosophy behind the respective brands.

ThreeSixty provides a wide range of organic and natural  foods, and also offers over 160 fair trade products, the widest selection in Hong Kong.

The hard work of farmers in every drop of fair trade beverage

Coffee beans, which are mainly produced in developing countries, has seen a dramatic drop in price over the past 10 years and, as a result, coffee farmers have suffered. Fair trade brands and importers have been established to ensure that farmers can sell their coffee at a reasonable price. Fair trade practices have also significantly improved the quality of the lives of tea and fruit farmers by giving consumers the opportunity to compensate farmers fairly for their work.

  • Cafédirect, the largest fair trade hot drinks company in the UK, is the first coffee brand to be certified by the Fairtrade Foundation. Farmers are not only paid fair and reasonable rates, a portion of the profits are used to improve farming technology so that farmers can have a long-term and sustainable livelihood.
  • Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 with a mission to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers, and to show how fair trade can contribute to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.
  • Clipper is the only company in the UK whose entire range of products is fair trade and organic. It offers teas sourced from some of the best estates in Africa, India and Sri Lanka, with no artificial ingredients in unbleached tea bags.
  • Scarborough Fair tea is grown in the misty highlands of central Sri Lanka. The adoption of fair trade practices not only improves the quality of life for the local community, it also produces fresher teas through the use of handmade woven harvest baskets.
  • Calypso Fairtrade Pure Tropical Juice is made from quality fruit grown by small independent farm groups in the developing world. The farmers receive a guaranteed minimum price for the fruit, which covers the cost of sustainable production, and provides an additional fair trade premium to invest back into the local community.

Support fair trade starting with a bar of chocolate

Many people love chocolate for that hint of bitterness in a sweet taste. Yet there might be a bitter story behind each bar of chocolate as most cocoa farmers in developing countries are exploited. Their standard of living has remained so low that many of them have never even been able to afford to buy and taste chocolate. The chocolate then becomes expensive because of the trading and merchandising processes that operate after the cocoa leaves the hands of the farmers.

We can all contribute to fair trade starting with a single bar of chocolate.

  • Divine is the only fair trade chocolate company that is 45 percent owned by the farmers. Fair trade ensures that farmers receive a better price for their cocoa and produces an additional income to invest in their community. Having company ownership also gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry.
  • Endangered Species Chocolate is 100 percent ethically traded with cocoa bought from small family-owned properties. Fair trade prices help to sustain the habitats and the communities, and 10 percent of the company’s net profits are donated to help support species, habitat and humanity.
  • Scarborough Fair chocolates are made in New Zealand with imported fair trade ingredients.
  • Cadbury received Fairtrade Foundation certification in 2009 for its Cadbury Dairy Milk, the bestselling chocolate bar in the UK. This achievement will result in the tripling of sales of cocoa under fair trade terms for cocoa farmers in Ghana.

Practice ethical shopping everyday

The variety of fair trade products has continued to develop as increasingly more people become aware of fair trade principles. In addition to popular fair trade beverages and chocolates, ThreeSixty also offers other fair trade foods and products so consumers can adhere to its principles in more aspects of their everyday life.

  • All BiOFAIR products are both fair trade and certified organic. The company aims to help developing communities to build economically sound trading relationships, while at the same time protecting the health of farmers and the integrity of the local environment.
  • Bang consortium was founded by five Sydney mums who pooled their talents to create a fair trade business that recognises their joint interests in the environment and in the betterment of women and children in the developing world.

About ThreeSixty

ThreeSixty – owned by the Dairy Farm group – is the largest natural and organic retailer in Hong Kong. The company’s values are driven by the mission statement: "We champion the wellbeing of people and the planet. We partner with likeminded organizations, follow strict quality control standards, and are committed to environmentally friendly and sustainable development. We believe in making change for good in our lives, our world and our future."

Dairy Farm is a pan-Asian retailer. On 31 December 2009, the group and its associates operated in over 5,000 outlets, employed over 76,000 people in the region, and had total annual sales exceeding USD8 billion. The group operates supermarkets, hypermarkets, health and beauty stores, convenience stores, home furnishings stores and restaurants.

For more information, visit ThreeSixty.