In search of fair trade: ethical consumer decision making

Nil Özçağlar-Toulouse, Edward Shiu and Deirdre Shaw. Paper published in International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30, 5, September 2006, pp502–514.

While the market for fair trade products has been growing in many countries, this paper examines the French market where fair trade remains marginal but is experiencing growth. Using a modified Theory of Planned Behaviour framework the research examines consumer intention to  purchase fair trade grocery products in order to explain the pertinent decision-making criteria of both consumers of and potential consumers of fair trade. Results reveal that concerned consumers should not be treated as one homogeneous group, rather, the distinct variations in the factors that influence their decision making must be considered when promoting, labelling and distributing fair trade products. Implications for both  sustaining and developing the market for fair trade products in the future are highlighted and discussed.

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