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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Catherine S. Dolan

This chapter examines the Kenyan Fairtrade flower as a site of value making, one that provides a constructive lens into how moral obligation and ethical accountability are…

Abstract

This chapter examines the Kenyan Fairtrade flower as a site of value making, one that provides a constructive lens into how moral obligation and ethical accountability are shaped by risk perceptions and become visible through the process of transnational commodity exchange. Specifically, it argues that while Fairtrade labeling responds to the risks of corporate capitalism through consumption practices predicated on extending care and compassion to distant communities, it is also embedded within commodity chains that advance liberal ethics as a mode of “governmentality” over African producers. These ethics are associated with new technologies of information gathering, regulation, and surveillance that simultaneously assuage consumers’ anxieties and channel their sympathy-based humanism into new forms of ethical normativity. Fairtrade's relational ethic, for example, is accompanied by a private regulatory assemblage that authorizes certain knowledge forms, thereby circumscribing the social and economic rights available as well as the form of personhood through which they can be claimed. Thus, although Fairtrade is cast as morally unproblematic, it can also serve as a mechanism through which specific interests are naturalized and circulated through a benevolent vernacular of economic and social rights.

Details

Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9

Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Irma Tikkanen and Tiina Varkoi

This paper seeks to explore the consumption of Fairtrade products in a municipal catering organisation from the viewpoint of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore the consumption of Fairtrade products in a municipal catering organisation from the viewpoint of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach

In the paper, a theoretical foundation is established, concerning CSR, and a few studies related to CSR procurement are presented. Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International and its tasks are introduced. In addition, previous research related to the sustainable food procurement in the catering sector is introduced. Empirical data were collected from a municipal catering organisation by using a theme interview structure.

Findings

The findings indicate that the consumption of Fairtrade products encompasses eight Fairtrade products. Two products are consumed in each unit of the case organisation, whereas six products are consumed occasionally. The procurement of Fairtrade products were based on the values of the case organisation, the environmental programme and the laws and the European Union's communications.

Practical implications

The empirical results may be utilised when planning the consumption of Fairtrade products in the municipal catering organisation, and when preparing the competitive tendering of the catering services. The findings offer valuable information when transforming the catering operations into a more sustainable direction.

Originality/value

The extent of consumption concerning Fairtrade products by displaying an empirical case study is described.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Sally Smith

The purpose of the paper is to summarise the research evidence related to Fairtrade impacts on women and gender relations and propose a conceptual framework for future…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to summarise the research evidence related to Fairtrade impacts on women and gender relations and propose a conceptual framework for future research on gender and Fairtrade.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a meta‐analysis of research studies on Fairtrade impact, including over 20 case studies from a range of countries and sectors. It proposes a conceptual framework for understanding and researching Fairtrade gender impacts, including direct, indirect and combined impacts.

Findings

There is a need to situate analysis of Fairtrade gender impacts within concepts of the gendered economy, including attention to gender biases in income opportunities, intra‐household gender relations, organisational and network dynamics, and socio‐cultural, legal and political contexts. The available evidence suggests that Fairtrade has mixed impacts for women ‐ in some situations and contexts it supports women to improve their income, wellbeing and status, strengthening their position within the household and organisations, while in others it exacerbates pre‐existing gender inequalities. Impacts also differ according to factors such as age, marital status, education and wealth.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual framework should be tested and further refined through empirical work.

Practical implications

The conceptual framework identifies key mechanisms used within the Fairtrade system to bring about change, and highlights the multiple connections between Fairtrade and other influences on gender outcomes at individual, household, organisational and community levels. As such, the paper has practical implications for both researchers and practitioners working in the realm of Fairtrade.

Originality/value

A meta‐analysis of findings on Fairtrade gender impacts has not previously been done in a comprehensive way, and the conceptual framework will support future research on Fairtrade and gender.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Clare D'Souza, Vanessa Apaolaza, Patrick Hartmann and Andrew Gilmore

The purpose of this study is to develop and test a theoretical model of Fairtrade buying behavior that supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by addressing the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop and test a theoretical model of Fairtrade buying behavior that supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by addressing the nexus between just-world beliefs, along with the normative influences, self-identity and altruistic values.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework on the influence of just-world beliefs for Fairtrade purchase intentions is proposed to analyze the role of just-world beliefs on the effects of normative influences and altruistic values for the intention to purchase Fairtrade products that support SDGs. These conceptualizations are empirically tested on a representative sample of 217 consumers.

Findings

Just-world beliefs play a central role in the purchase intention by having a direct effect on purchase intention and an indirect effect mediated by personal norms and self-identity. They partially mediate the effects of altruistic values and social norms on the purchase intention of Fairtrade products that support SDGs.

Originality/value

The research provides a better understanding of the influences of these contextual variables on ethical consumption and contributes to both the theory and practice of how businesses can achieve SDGs. The psychological rationale of just-world beliefs provides a new approach to marketing strategy and communication aimed at increasing purchase intention of Fairtrade products that support the fundamental goals of the UN sustainable development.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Katharina Bissinger and Daniel Leufkens

Since fairtrade labels are upcoming market instruments, the purpose of this paper is to identify and quantify consumers’ willingness to pay for fairtrade coffee products…

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Abstract

Purpose

Since fairtrade labels are upcoming market instruments, the purpose of this paper is to identify and quantify consumers’ willingness to pay for fairtrade coffee products and tea. Thereby, this paper contributes to the discussion in favour of a non-private regulation of ethical food labels (FLs). Moreover, the paper provides information about the consumer behaviour of the German buying public.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis is based on homescan panel data of 13,000 representative German households, which includes actual purchase data of ground coffee, single-serve coffee, espresso, and tea for a five-year sample period from 2004 to 2008. As a methodological approach, the hedonic technique is used to model coffee and tea prices as a function of time, store, and product characteristics.

Findings

Regarding the variables of interest branding a product leads to an average price premium of 22.1 per cent, while the organic FL achieves an average price premium of 34.3 per cent. The highest average price premium of 43.1 per cent is ceteris paribus paid for fairtrade labels. In the case of fairtrade labels, tea products earn the highest implicit prices with 74.0 per cent, followed by ground coffee (54.9 per cent), espresso (24.7 per cent), and single-serve coffee (18.9 per cent).

Originality/value

The present analysis supplements the discussions around the willingness to pay for fairtrade certified products by the German buying public, a product differentiation between coffee products and the introduction of labelled tea. As the data set includes daily purchases, it allows analysis of consumer behaviour on a disaggregated level, given detailed information on prices, stores, origins, FLs, and so on.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Eline Poelmans and Sandra Rousseau

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate how chocolate lovers balance taste and ethical considerations when selecting chocolate products.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how chocolate lovers balance taste and ethical considerations when selecting chocolate products.

Design/methodology/approach

The data set was collected through a survey at the 2014 “Salon du Chocolat” in Brussels, Belgium. The authors distributed 700 copies and received 456 complete responses (65 percent response rate). Choice experiments were used to estimate the relative importance of different chocolate characteristics and to predict respondents’ willingness to pay for marginal changes in those characteristics. The authors estimate both a conditional logit model and a latent class model to take possible preference heterogeneity into account.

Findings

On average, respondents were willing to pay 11 euros more for 250 g fairtrade labeled chocolate compared to conventional chocolate. However, taste clearly dominates ethical considerations. The authors could distinguish three consumer segments, each with a different tradeoff between taste and fairtrade. One group clearly valued fairtrade positively, a second group valued fairtrade to a lesser extent and a third group did not seem to value fairtrade.

Originality/value

Chocolate can be seen as a self-indulgent treat where taste is likely to dominate other characteristics. Therefore it is unsure to what extent ethical factors are included in consumer decisions. Interestingly the results indicate that a significant share of chocolate buyers still positively value fairtrade characteristics when selecting chocolate varieties.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Roman Konopka, Malcolm John Wright, Mark Avis and Pamela M. Feetham

There are substantive disagreements about whether encouraging deliberative thinking increases consumer preference in low-involvement product categories. The authors draw…

Abstract

Purpose

There are substantive disagreements about whether encouraging deliberative thinking increases consumer preference in low-involvement product categories. The authors draw on dual-process theory to add rare experimental evidence to this debate. They also investigate whether the effect of deliberative thinking increases with familiarity of the stimuli, as different theories of memory yield different predictions on this point. Finally, they provide evidence on whether the effectiveness of the Fairtrade logo arises more from mere exposure or attention to the ethical claim.

Design/methodology/approach

The context for the research is the use of ethical logos in packaged coffee, as this provides a realistic setting for the desired experimental manipulations. The fieldwork consists of two sets of trade-off experiments – rankings based conjoint analysis (n = 360) and best-worst scaling with a balanced incomplete block design (n = 1,628). Deliberative thinking is manipulated in three ways: by varying logos between visual (Type 1 processing) and lexical (Type 2 processing) treatments, by post hoc classification of time taken, and by imposing either time constraints (Type 1) or cognitive load (Type 2) on the completion of the task. Familiarity is manipulated by varying logos between the Fairtrade and a fictional Exchange Ethics logo.

Findings

Consumers do have higher preferences in the deliberative treatment conditions; thinking more results in an 18 per cent increase (Cohen’s d = 0.25) in the preference for choices that display an ethical cobranded logo. Surprisingly, the impact of deliberation is not greater for the more familiar Fairtrade logo than the fictional Exchange Ethics logo. This result is inconsistent with strength-based theories of memory, as these predict that deliberation will have a greater effect for more familiar stimuli. However, it is consistent with newer theories of memory that acknowledge familiarity can lead to activation confusion, reducing retrieval of pre-existing knowledge into working memory. The research also shows that the Fairtrade logo has substantial utility to consumers, and that this is approximately 59 per cent due to the ethical claim and 41 per cent due to the familiarity of the logo.

Research limitations/implications

In field conditions, attempts to manipulate deliberation may not be effective or may simply result in reduced attention. Also, the costs of increasing deliberation may outweigh the benefits obtained.

Practical implications

The research confirms the heuristic value of the Fairtrade logo and shows that the effectiveness of ethical logos may increase with additional deliberation by shoppers.

Originality/value

There is relatively little work in marketing that applies dual-process theories to investigate consumer behaviour. The present study extends the use of dual-process theories in marketing, demonstrates a new method to investigate the effect of deliberation on brand choice and shows how deliberation magnifies the effect of endorsing logos, including unfamiliar logos.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 August 2010

Mick Blowfield and Catherine Dolan

This paper seeks to bring together ethical governance theory and empirical findings to examine the shifting nature of governance in global value chains, and the

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to bring together ethical governance theory and empirical findings to examine the shifting nature of governance in global value chains, and the implications of this shift for mainstream companies. In particular, it aims to examine one of the more mature models of ethical value chain governance, Fairtrade, and how this is being used by business.

Design/methodology/approach

Information is derived from a longitudinal study of multi‐stakeholder co‐governance in Kenya and the UK, and an analysis of the literature on similar co‐governance models.

Findings

The paper shows that mainstream companies are looking to multi‐stakeholder models not only to protect their reputation, but as a way of governing ethical dimensions of their value chains. However, rather than a form of co‐governance, it has become a way of outsourcing governance, enabling companies to strengthen their public credibility, while simultaneously transferring an especially difficult element of modern value chain governance to organizations enjoying high consumer trust. Yet, primary data suggest that these governance systems are not delivering the benefits promised, at least at the producer level.

Practical implications

By outsourcing governance to initiatives with dubious credibility in this way, companies may seem at risk. However, the mismatch between the promise and delivery of Fairtrade does not seem to be affecting consumer confidence and, until it does, companies may continue to benefit from the halo effect of being a Fairtrade ally. But there are also opportunities for companies to use Fairtrade's weaknesses to make the value chain a better avenue for delivering ethical governance, with implications for similar co‐governance models.

Originality/value

The study draws on one of the very few pieces of longitudinal field research on the impacts of Fairtrade. It approaches Fairtrade from a governance rather than reputations perspective, and emphasizes the implications for mainstream business rather than the co‐governance movement.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Shannon Sutton

While recent changes to Fairtrade's governance structures aim to facilitate “stronger voices” for producers, relatively little is known about the impact on individual…

Abstract

Purpose

While recent changes to Fairtrade's governance structures aim to facilitate “stronger voices” for producers, relatively little is known about the impact on individual farmers. This paper aims to consider the nature of participation and representation, assessing the role of Fairtrade International (FLO) in representing the interests of its members through an exploration of collaborative governance.

Design/methodology/approach

The author utilizes Fung and Wright's framework of empowered participatory governance to explore the nature of individual participation in Fairtrade governance.

Findings

This paper finds that, while FLO has demonstrated a commitment to improving producer participation and its governance structures appear to be evolving accordingly, much remains to be done in order to ensure that individual producers are genuinely engaged in decision making and have a voice. The concept of countervailing power may provide a means of achieving this.

Practical implications

This paper highlights gaps in the literature that future research might serve to fill. It also finds that there are practical implications for FLO's structures and policies that aim to encourage individual participation and representation, particularly with regards to capacity building and leadership. In addition, the notion of countervailing power is outlined as a useful concept for further addressing diversity and heterogeneity in Fairtrade participation.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on Fairtrade's emerging agenda related to producer voices, while applying EPG in a novel manner. This theoretical framework allows for an original interpretation of the existing empirical material on Fairtrade, and the introduction of countervailing power as a useful concept within Fairtrade may be of interest to both practitioners and researchers.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Angela Anagnostou, Paul T.M. Ingenbleek and Hans C.M. van Trijp

This study aims to better understand the impact of norm-challenging products on consumers’ perceptions of mainstream products and retailers. By showing that sustainable…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to better understand the impact of norm-challenging products on consumers’ perceptions of mainstream products and retailers. By showing that sustainable market offerings are feasible, products with sustainability labels, such as Fairtrade and organic products, implicitly question the legitimacy of mainstream brands in the market.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses an experiment, based on scenarios that portray the consumer in a shopping situation for their usual coffee brand when they encounter an organic Fairtrade coffee. The paper distinguishes a situation in which the sustainable and the mainstream products compete, from a situation in which the two brands collaborate.

Findings

The results show that norm-challenging products deteriorate perceptions of mainstream products and the companies that produce them but improve the image of retailers that include these products in their assortment. If labelled products are sold under the heading of mainstream brands, they still spill over negatively to other products of that brand but positively to the brand company.

Practical implications

The spillover effects of norm-challenging products to mainstream companies are an incentive for mainstream firms to enhance the sustainability of their activities.

Originality/value

Whereas much literature has focused on the first steps of creating awareness among consumers for sustainability, this paper is the first that tries to understand how typical consumers of mainstream brands develop preferences for products that are more sustainable.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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