The Fairtrade Foundation has said that retail sales of the ethical Fairtrade brand jumped 81 per cent last year to £493 million.

Sales of bananas, which has replaced coffee as the highest selling fair-trade product, increased 130 per cent to £150 million last year. One in four bananas sold in Britain are now Fairtrade.

Fairtrade coffee sales also increased by 24 per cent to £117 million last year.

Fairtrade products are intended to benefit producers in the developing world, who may be disadvantaged or at risk from economic exploitation. The products come from over 50 countries and are sold in more than 20.

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said, The fantastic increase in sales of Fairtrade goods in 2007 shows the UK's public's huge and growing appetite for Fairtrade.

But the pace of change must quicken. The scale and level of poverty worldwide demands that we all urgently play our part to scale up Fairtrade.