Crowberry Consulting

The rise of the ethical consumer — implications for environmental management

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Courtesy of Crowberry Consulting

The season of goodwill is nearly upon us, but in purchasing gifts for our friends and family how many of us will make the connection between what we buy and its relationship to brand strategy, ethical consumerism and environmental management?

Recent research shows that British shoppers will spend more than £2 billion in 2006 on ethical foods, eg Fairtrade, free range, and local or organic produce. this represents an increase of 62% in the last 4 years. According to the Mintel Global New Products Database, about 70 ethical food products were launched in Britain last year, 45 more than in 2002. Fairtrade products have the greatest growth, and are expected to amount to a £230 million market by the end of the year, a 265% increase on 2002 levels.

Currently standing at £25.8 billion, foodstuffs are only one part of a growing market of ethical and environmental products and services that businesses and consumers are now choosing to purchase.  According to the Co-operative Bank’s Ethical Consumerism Report (see the total market for sustainable, ethical, green, organic and responsible (SEGOR) products grew by 15% in 2004/05. Moreover, according to marketers who invented the term SEGOR, the market is believed to be becoming increasingly mainstream (see

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