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Consumer Preferences for Foodstuffs Produced in a Socio-environmentally Responsible Manner: A Threat to Fair Trade Producers?

Celia Sama, Crespo-Cebada, Eva, Díaz-Caro, Carlos, Miguel Escribano and Francisco Mesias ()

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 150, issue C, 290-296

Abstract: In recent years there has been an increase in social awareness about environment, production processes and product origin amongst consumers. Particularly in the agro-food industry, fair and responsible consumption has been proposed as a feasible alternative to conventional product consumption. Fair trade products are usually produced in developing countries and then commercialised in the rest of the world. However, we may compare this concept to that of “ethical-sustainable production” in developed countries, depending on the level of environmental responsibility, the way the production processes are developed and other business practices, which are similar to those used in fair trade. The findings reveal that the origin (local/regional) and the type of production are two attributes that are highly valued by consumers, with the socially and environmentally responsible production system and fair trade products providing a positive utility compared to conventional products. Three consumer groups have been identified with differentiated preferences: the group we call “Fair Trade Consumers”, who allocate more value to the type of production; “Local Consumers”, who allocate more value to the origin of products; and “Price Sensitive Consumers”, who are less inclined to pay for products deriving from socially and environmentally responsible practices and fair trade products.

Keywords: Fair Trade; Marketing; Socio-environmental responsibility; Sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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