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Through thick and thin: how fair trade consumers have reacted to the global economic recession

Bondy, Tierney and Talwar, Vishal (2011) Through thick and thin: how fair trade consumers have reacted to the global economic recession. Journal of Business Ethics, 101 (3). pp. 365-383. ISSN 0167-4544

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10551-010-0726-4


Research on fair trade has flourished over the past decade as fair trade food products have gained popularity amongst consumers in many developed economies. This study examines the effects of recessionary economic conditions on fair trade consumers' purchasing behaviour. An online survey was administered to 306 fair trade consumers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The results reveal a discrepancy among fair trade consumers as only consumers that purchase fair trade on an occasional basis adhered to established consumer behaviour norms, i. e. decreasing their purchases of fair trade products and becoming significantly more price aware. Respondents who actively consume fair trade generally remained loyal to their purchase. While some active consumers altered their purchasing behaviour, this phenomenon was not common amongst this group as no statistically significant changes were observed. Differences were also noted among the three countries as the Canadian and US fair trade consumers significantly decreased their consumption of fair trade as a result of the recession, whereas the UK consumers did not. In addition to the research results, theoretical and managerial implications will be discussed along with future research directions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Springer
Divisions: Management
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1001 Canada (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2011 15:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:16

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