Is Fairtrade A Good Business Technique or Devious Marketing Ploy? (2012)

This Masters Dissertation aims to critically evaluate the intentions of companies working in the rapidly growing Fairtrade market. The research problem is to find out whether companies view Fairtrade as their social responsibility or a marketing strategy for expanding their business. On the one side, the research emphasises on the growth indicators of Fairtrade like expanding Fairtrade market share, increasing customer spending and rising awareness level.

On the other side case studies, previous researches and market trends are analysed to find whether companies are motivated by the incredible growth rate of Fairtrade business or they are genuinely turning towards ethical business. It has been confirmed by the examination of literature and analysis of the empirical evidences that some of the companies have joined Fairtrade only with business motives and they are least bothered about welfare of poor producers. It is recommended that customers should be provided more information, the Fairtrade processes should be made more transparent and Fairtrade organisations should be strengthened to stop entry of profit seeking companies in the Fairtrade market. Fairtrade is a trade arrangement between small-scale producers of developing countries and multinational companies with the aim of giving better prices for their produce.

Fairtrade managed to gain support from several NGOs, Governmental agencies media and general public, which transformed a small initiative made by some religious groups into a massive social movement. On the one side, growing sales of Fairtrade products are cherished by its supporters but on the other side it attracted many companies with unethical history towards Fairtrade marketing. The research is divided in three main parts; the business opportunity offered by Fairtrade, impact of Fairtrade on the lives of producers and customers’ perception of Fairtrade.

It is clearly shown in the case studies of Nestle and Avon that actual intentions of these companies are to cash on the great business opportunity offered by Fairtrade. However, Fairtrade has been successfully improving the lives of thousands of producers for many years. Many researchers have provided evidences related to increase in income, reduction in vulnerability and enhanced self-confidence of producers associated with Fairtrade. Although Fairtrade provides great business opportunity to the companies but entry of those companies who start Fairtrade just for business reasons, should be stopped to keep customers faith intact in the concept of Fairtrade.

Dissertation Objectives:

  • To examine whether Fairtrade is part of social responsibility of companies or a business expansion strategy
  • To study customers’ perception of Fairtrade
  • To analyse the impact of Fairtrade on the producers of developing countries

  • 15,000 words – 44 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for MBA and business management students

1: Introduction
Research Problem
Objectives of the Study
The research would be undertaken to achieve the following objectives
Importance of the Study
Structure of the Dissertation

2: Literature Review
Fairtrade: Definition, History and Scope
Consumer Perception of Ethical Products and Companies
Is Fairtrade A Marketing Strategy?
Fairtrade: A Genuine Business Proposition
Fairtrade: Case Study of Nestle
Fairtrade: Case Study of Avon

3: Research Methodology
Research Purpose
Research Design
Research Approach
Data Types and Its Reliability
Limitations and Difficulties

4: Data Analysis and Discussion
Fairtrade: The Business Opportunity
Growing Market
Rising Awareness
Rising spending
Big Market Segment
Fairtrade as a Marketing Strategy
Case Studies
BBC Panorama
El Ceibo-Bolivia
Impact of Fairtrade
Economic impacts
Environmental impacts
Empowerment impacts
Customer Perception of Fairtrade
Customers’ attitude towards companies treating Fairtrade as a business opportunity
Support for Fairtrade
Reasons for Nestlé’s application for Fairtrade mark
Reaction of Nestlé’s Fairtrade coffee

5: Conclusion and Recommendations
Increased transparency
Clear communication
Company profile should also be considered while allotting Fairtrade mark
Change in the role of Fairtrade organisations
Watchful customers
Improvements in the structure of Fairtrade


Fairtrade Marketing Dissertation
Fairtrade Marketing Dissertation

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