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A Study of Irish Consumers’ Perceptions of Fair Trade

This study examines consumer understandings of fair trade. It looks at knowledge of the same and at knowledge about Fair Trade© products, particularly in light of corporate involvement. This involves using a quantitative style questionnaire to identify what a sample of seventy participants understand about fair trade as a concept, the Fair Trade© brand and their attitudes towards the brand and the use of the brand by large corporations.


The study explores the varying perspectives of fair trade that exist within the movement. It further explores the implications of different understandings of fair trade. It examines the impact that mainstream involvement has in shaping fair trade and previous consumer studies concerned with this topic. Analysis is limited by the variety of understandings that emerged from the small sample. The findings indicate that there is as wide an understanding of fair trade among consumers as there is within the movement. The majority of consumers seem to support the idea of fair trade without knowing much about it. Fewer provide practical support but there is a proportion that do. Consumers generally do not seem to engage in with either the concept of fair trade or with products bar at a superficial level. The majority of participants do not appear to be concerned about which manufacturers sell Fair Trade© goods.


Martina Fahey 2012


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