The mainstreaming of Fair Trade: a macromarketing perspective
Following a brief review of the development and underlying purposes of the Fair Trade movement, the paper introduces perhaps the key issue for the UK Fair Trade movement currently: the mainstreaming of Fair Trade food products.
The macromarketing literature, with its focus on sustainable consumption, ecocentrism and a consequent need to change the dominant social paradigm, is used as a framework for analysing the findings of an empirical study of this mainstreaming process involving interviews with and case study material from both Fair Trade organisations and the major supermarkets which have engaged with Fair Trade. The key question that the paper addresses is whether Fair Trade, particularly as it enters mainstream markets, provides an exemplar, from within the existing dominant social paradigm, of the kinds of actions that the macromarketing literature suggests are necessary to enable sustainable consumption. Implications for both the Fair Trade movement and for macromarketing are drawn out.