As Vince Bamford's article highlights, this year in particular it seems to have made real headway in transforming from a niche part of the market to the mainstream, with Cadbury's being the most notable example.
Premium-priced Fairtrade has continued to prosper in the downturn. It's a real example of social branding that talks to consumers' innate desire to do good by being good. Brands are starting to realise that socially responsible branding makes good business sense, especially as it appeals to consumers' desire for high-value charitable giving.
Fairness here is a two-way street and ROI is twofold: consumers get both emotional and functional value, their money on a Fairtrade cause and a pretty tasty chocolate, cappuccino or banana. There is a return beyond emotional gratification.
There will always be tension between the need for brands to be good social citizens, and the need to deliver growth to shareholders.
But there is a place in the middle where the two can meet, which is what we're currently seeing with the Fairtrade movements.
Dave Brown, UK chairman, The Brand Union