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Are UK Supermarkets Over Selling And Placing Too Much Focus On Fairtrade Products?

Ref: market0038

Currently, ethical products are fashionable. An area which has grown rapidly over the last decade is Fairtrade products. The mainstreaming of Fairtrade has been met with some concerns that the movement has ‘sold out’ its values, which have become diluted the more mainstreamed the movement has become. In particular, supermarkets have been accused of ‘clean washing’ the selling of Fairtrade goods and using the confusing array of ethical products to their own advantage. This dissertation studies the selling of Fairtrade products in UK supermarkets and whether they have taken the engagement with Fairtrade seriously. The focus of the study is on three UK supermarkets. Academic literature was studied, in particular the findings of Low & Davenport (2005, 2006) and their three overlapping discourse themes; Adoption, Assimilation and Appropriation. Data was collected through primary research by the writer, including a content analysis of the supermarkets’ corporate websites and multiple-choice questionnaires, which were completed by head-office members from the three supermarkets. The results are interesting, both in terms of activities undertaken by the supermarkets and in relation to the academic theory. The study concludes that the selling of Fairtrade products in UK supermarkets is currently at an assimilation stage in the discourse themes, whereby Fairtrade products are still a niche in the supermarkets’ offering. The writer concludes that there is some evidence of clean wash taking place; however the supermarkets engagement with Fairtrade is a serious one. The writer rounds off the study with recommendations for supermarkets of how to avoid the concept of clean wash, by recommending they use marketing techniques to inform their customers of what Fairtrade is. This will avoid the growing distance between the Fairtrade goods and the Fairtrade message.

  • 10,000 words – 85 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes questionnaire
  • Ideal for business and marketing students


1 - Introduction

Objectives of the Study
Outline of Chapters

2 - Literature Review
What is Fairtrade?
The Factors leading to the Mainstreaming of Fairtrade
The Positive and Negative Aspects of Mainstreaming Fairtrade 
Fairtrade in Commercial Retail
Operational Responses to Ethical Consumerism and Fairtrade
The Fairtrade Market in the UK
Adoption, Assimilation and Appropriation
Adoption
Assimilation
Appropriation
Clean Wash
Sustainable Development
Shopping for a better world
Past Studies
Summary

3 - Methodology
Introduction
Scope of the Research
Advantages of Primary Research
Limitations of Primary Research
Participants
Supermarkes
Supermarket Website Disclosure
Multiple-choice Questionnaire
Limitations of Questionnaire
Pilot Study
Ethical Issues
Limitations/Constraints of the Research

4 - Website Disclosure Findings
Website Disclosure Results
Fairtrade Foundation Website Disclosure
Website Disclosure Discussion

Chapter 5 - Fairtrade Questionnaire Findings and Discussion
Introduction
Objectives Analysis
Objectives Summary

6 - Conclusion
Recommendations
Possible Areas for Future Research

References

Bibliography

Appendices



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