Two in five of the British adult population now recognise the FAIRTRADE Mark, soaring from one in four in 2003, according to a MORI poll commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation in March 2004. The level of awareness of what the Mark stands for has also increased.
Some 63% of people who recognize the Mark say they have subsequently bought Fairtrade products and 86% of people who buy Fairtrade products say the Mark is "fairly important" or "very important" to them.
Responding to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee's latest report on gangmasters, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has supported the call for the Government to introduce a co-ordinated approach to weed out rogue gangmasters and their illegal activities.
Kevin Hawkins, BRC Director General said: "The report has recognised that food retailers have done more than any other part of the food chain to stamp out rogue gangmasters and their illegal practices. The criminal elements are driven by their own greed pure and simple. They do not serve the interests of the retailer, farmer, manufacturer or the consumer.
Tony Woodley, the Transport & General Workers' Union's General Secretary, said it was good that the committee had now supported the cause. He added that a concerted approach across parliament was now required to turn the bill into law which would address many of the other issues raised by the committee.
"Taking action to end the exploitation of vulnerable people by gangmasters is long overdue," he said. "The case for change is overwhelming and we welcome MPs on the Efra Select Committee joining the campaign for licensing and registration.
The National Farmers Union's head of Parliamentary affairs, Barney Holbeche, also welcomed the report, saying: "It is imperative that any additional costs to business arising from licensing are shared within the food chain, rather than retailers pushing the costs back up the chain to primary producers. This is a very positive step forward, and we hope that peers will give the Bill a fair wind in the House of Lords."