In times of crisis, the French consume more locally and fairly

A study by the Max Havelaar NGO explored the food consumption trends of the French during lockdown. It reveals that, despite the crisis,the underlying trend observed in recent years towards more responsible food purchases continues.

Blaise Desbordes, CEO of Max Havelaar, is pleased that “when asked which products they were buying during lockdown, the French seemed to maintain their responsible and fair preference during the crisis. The three key fairtrade products - bananas, coffee, cocoa - remain at the top of the list of products with almost the same level of consumption.”

This study carried out among 1,092 consumers shows that social and environmental guarantees on the quality of a product is a value which reassures consumers. The French are therefore more concerned about the quality and origin of the products they buy.

They are also more sensitive to the work of farmers and producers: 69% of the respondents believe that the crisis pushes to buy more responsibly, and 80% of them claimed that they will continue to do so after the crisis.

45% preferred to go for local or regional products, 39% for products made in France, 29% for organic products. 15% of them chose products with limited or no packaging, 14% of them chose both organic and fair products, and 10% went for fairtrade products only.

54% of the French claim to be in favor of switching to a 100% local food consumption. However, they do not wish to go without the many imported products they are used to consuming, such as rice (75%), chocolate (73%), coffee (66%), spices (60%), bananas (55%), tea (51%) and quinoa (33%). “When people claim to want to consume locally, they are actually sending a message of agricultural quality,” explains Blaise Desbordes. “They want faces, solidarity, and wish to promote the development of the land and respect ecological values.”

This way of thinking could work in favor of fair trade. “We do local at a distance,” claims the CEO of Max Havelaar. “The value people look for in local products is the local growth which feeds the working men. It is what we do wherever we grow our coffee, cocoa, bananas and other fairtrade products.”



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