Organisational Ethics and Marketing Fair and Ethical Trade

Will Low and Eileen Davenport
Publication Date: 
This article critically evaluates current developments in marketing fair trade labelled products and ‘‘no sweat’’ manufactured goods, and argues that both the fair trade and ethical trade movements increasingly rely on strategies for bottom-up change, converting consumers ‘‘one cup at a time’’. This individualistic approach, which we call ‘‘shopping for a better world’’, must, we argue, be augmented by more collectivist approaches to affect transformative change. Specifically, we look at the concept of mission-driven organizations pursuing leadership roles in developing affinity relationships to promote fair and ethical trade and developing ethical spaces. Increasingly, a range of organizations are restructuring their operations, so that their mission is reflected in ethical practices throughout their operations, including product sourcing and product sales.
. First, ethical purchasing policies operated by non-profits and public agencies represent markets through which fair/ ethical products reach end consumers. The efforts discussed to create ethical spaces through direct democracy and electoral mandate build on a broad-based affinity with the principles of fair and ethical trade. Second, we explore the potential for ‘‘mission-driven’’ non-profit organizations, such as zoos and aquaria for merging their mission of conservation education with their marketing activities through the operation of their shops and cafe´s. Interesting initiatives to link the conservation message to food choices is being undertaken by a number of zoos and aquaria, while there is scope for increased linkages in the giftware sold in their shops.