Despite the squeeze on consumer spending, British shoppers continued to pay a premium for Fairtrade goods last year.

Sales of Fairtrade goods grew by 12% in the UK in 2011 – matching the rate of growth globally. Fairtrade sales are now worth €4.9bn (£3.86bn) a year.

While the UK remains the largest market for the ethical kitemark, Tuulia Syvaenen of Fairtrade International pointed to growth in new markets such as South Africa and South Korea.

“Fairtrade is the norm for millions of people,” she said.

“It is a part of the regular weekly shopping. And now sales of Fairtrade certified products are taking off in new countries, as entirely new groups of people discover Fairtrade for the first time.”

Almost a thousand producer organisations, across 66 countries, are now Fairtrade certified.

“Thanks to support from consumers around the world we were able to invest in many business and community projects,” said Joseph Ayebazibwe of Mabale Growers Tea Factory in Uganda.

“Fairtrade doesn’t only help improve the living standards of producers; the impact also extends to the wider community. Fairtrade consumers are supporting sustainable development across our beautiful continent.”