Buying into Fair Trade: Culture, Morality, and Consumption by Keith R. Brown

By Keith R. Brown

Stamped on items from espresso to handicrafts, the time period “fair trade” has fast turn into one in every of today’s so much seductive patron buzzwords. Purportedly created via reasonable hard work practices, or in ways in which are environmentally sustainable, fair-trade items provide dealers peace of brain in realizing that, in concept, how they store will help make the area a greater position. Buying into reasonable Trade turns the highlight onto this transforming into development, exploring how fair-trade consumers take into consideration their very own altruism inside an more and more international economy.

Using over a hundred interviews with fair-trade shoppers, nationwide leaders of the circulation, espresso farmers, and artisans, writer Keith Brown describes either the concepts that customers use to confront the ethical contradictions inquisitive about attempting to store ethically and the methods shopkeepers and providers reconcile their have to do sturdy with the ubiquitous have to flip a revenue. as well as his in-depth research of the fair-trade marketplace, Brown additionally presents a how-to bankruptcy that outlines techniques readers can use to seem altruistic.This bankruptcy highlights the ways in which socially in charge markets were indifferent from problems with morality. a desirable account of ways shoppers first find out about, comprehend, and infrequently forget about the moral implications of procuring, Buying into reasonable Trade sheds new mild at the strength for the reasonable alternate marketplace to reshape the area right into a extra socially-just position.

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Extra resources for Buying into Fair Trade: Culture, Morality, and Consumption

Example text

He is a staple of Philadelphia’s movement for socially responsible shopping. He may not be the most high-profile member (that honor likely goes to Judy Wicks, the founder of the Sustainable Business Network and the White Dog Café), but he played a pivotal role in expanding awareness about fair trade. I describe the factors that led Joe to vigorously support fair trade and describe the obstacles he faced in trying to run a profitable, socially responsible business. As his business began to falter, Joe cultivated his reputation as a moral entrepreneur through his unwavering support of local, organic, and fair-trade initiatives.

It was through these experiences that he first heard about fair trade. About three years prior to opening this second shop, Joe attended a coffee trade show in Seattle, Washington. He kept hearing members of Fair Trade USA (at the time it was called TransFair USA) and the Specialty Coffee Association of America complaining about Starbucks. Although most of the conference focused on coffee quality (production, harvesting, the five grades of coffee beans), much attention kept coming back to Starbucks.

14 Joe is one of the hardest-working coffee entrepreneurs that I observed in Philadelphia. ) He remained in business for more than seven years, but he “Just One Normal Coffee” >> 45 never made more than $10,000 a year while owning the café. He often complained about not being able to afford new socks, let alone health insurance. And he took out a large home equity loan to keep his store open. This raises the question why Joe didn’t close his café earlier. Joe’s Alternative Reward: A Reputation as an Ethical Entrepreneur About a year after opening, Joe was becoming frustrated.

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