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Fairtrade cotton sales rocket

Items made with Faitrade cotton increased by 323% to six million units between April and June this year.

Total sales of Fairtrade products over the three month period were up 55% to an estimated retail value of £176 million against the same period in 2007.

The Fairtrade Foundation is hoping to quadruple sales of Fairtrade goods by 2012 to £2 billion.

Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, urged retailers to support more Fairtrade products. He said: "Faitrade has helped put development on the shopping list and, in many poorer producers' incomes, is contributing to the Millennium Development Goals. But there are millions of other farmers in developing countries who want the fair prices and steady demand Fairtrade brings. That is why we are funding the Fairtrade Foundation to help them 'Tip the Balance' to expand the country and product coverage of Fairtrade and achieve a four-fold expansion in sales by 2021. Companies and retailers are critical to achieving this ambitious goal, in the choices about where they buy from, the terms of trade and how they share this information with customers."

He added: "We congratulate all businesses who have helped put Fairtrade on the shelf, and call upon the business community to take Fairtrade to the next level, making it more mainstream still. The retail industry can open doors to more farmers in developing countries and play their part towards to MDGs by enabling shoppers to support Fairtrade every day."

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