Consumers are increasingly willing to pay extra for life's luxuries, such as chocolate and coffee, if the product has been produced ethically, a recent survey has found.

And it's the younger generation who are pushing the trend.

The Neilson survey showed 55 per cent of consumers said they were prepared to pay more for an ethically produced product.

That was a 5 per cent rise on a year ago and an increase of 10 per cent since 2011.


The Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand chief executive Molly Harriss Olson said the study found 64 per cent of consumers in Asia Pacific, compared with 40 per cent in Europe, were willing to pay more for products from companies with a positive social and environmental impact.

Last year, retail sales of Fairtrade Certified products such as coffee, tea and chocolate grew by 11 per cent in Australia and New Zealand, totalling over A$259.3 million ($291.3m).

"New Zealand has a key role to play in scaling up the market in Asia-Pacific," Ms Harriss Olson said.

The survey found the greatest response to sustainability actions came from people aged 21-34, who represented 51 per cent of those who would pay extra for sustainable products.

Only 25 per cent of Generation X and 12 per cent of Baby Boomers claimed to do the same, she said.

"This is very positive news as over the next 30 years, these young people will become their nation's decision makers."

Fair Trade Dunedin spokesman Neill Ballantyne said consumers had easy access to information about products and where they are produced, which would make consumers think more about how they were connected to our products and the people who produced them.


The study had a margin of error of plus or minus 0.6 per cent.