Fairtrade importer AgroFair is planning to treble sales in the European Union to more than £100m in the next three years as shoppers' appetite for ethical goods soars, according to its chief executive officer Jeroen Kroezen.

AgroFair is jointly owned by the growers themselves, development organisations and ethical investors with the aim of guaranteeing a better deal for producers in developing countries, allowing them to improve their standard of living.

Celebrating its tenth year in London this week, it revealed that European sales of tropical and sub-tropical fresh fruit such as bananas would hit £41m this year.

They retail under the Oké and Eko-Oké brands.After initially importing bananas grown by small producers in South America, the Caribbean and Ghana who were receiving prices below cost, the range has now spread to include pineapples from Costa Rica and also mangoes from Burkina Faso.

The latest product from AgroFair is citrus from South Africa grown on the Zebediela Estates.

The UK proportion of Fairtrade fruit is set to reach £5.5m this year, said Kroezen.While Fairtrade fruit is being sold by Asda, the Co-ops, Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose, he appealed for retailers to stock more and make the label the centre of their buying programmes.

However Ian Bretman, deputy director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said he was concerned about the launch last year of the Waitrose Foundation, which takes a similar approach.

"We welcome any initiative that helps developing countries," he said. "However we are concerned that Waitrose is not using our Fairtrade mark, which is recognised as an independent guarantee by half the population."

Christian Cull, Waitrose marketing director, said: "Our foundation stands as an initiative that reflects the ethos of our brand. We are a keen supporter of Fairtrade but Waitrose is itself noted for its ethical standads."