Archive for Fairtrade

Shoppers abandon ethical beliefs when it counts

Posted in food, government, Marketing, advertising, ethics, sustainability with tags , on December 2, 2011 by marketingheart

When Andrew Charlton wrote in this month’s Quarterly Essay “The world is split between those who want to save the planet and those who want to save themselves” he made a powerful point, but maybe it’s not quite that simple.

I’ve blogged before about Australia’s poor uptake of FairTrade products. Having said that, significant improvements have been reported. However, a new piece of research by a Victoria University branding specialist indicates consumers’ unwillingness to follow ethical convictions through to the extent they actually make a difference. Senior lecturer in marketing Maxwell Winchester surveyed 8,000 shoppers (in the UK) finding that they were more likely to buy larger national brands than fairtrade when both were available.

“A majority of consumers will confess to having strong ethical attitudes and practices including boycotting, but the reality of their actual behaviour was shown to be otherwise,” Winchester said. “Consumers are not taking their ethical concerns to the checkout.”

Of course if more big brands go Fair Trade – so the choice doesn’t need to be made. But unless consumers vote for FairTrade products with their wallets it’s not going to happen…a case of chicken and free range egg?

PS it should be noted that Fair Trade itself has received its share of criticism over the years for being ineffective in its aims to improve the welfare of third world agricultural workers and rural societies. The debate continues…



Coles shows the way forward with Fairtrade expansion..Woolies on the nose

Posted in Marketing, advertising, ethics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2010 by marketingheart

I ranted earlier here about how behind Australia is in taking on Fairtrade products both at retail and consumer levels.

So it’s great news to read at that Coles supermarket has announced a expansion of its Fairtrade Certified product range, adding eight Fairtrade tea and coffee house brand products in stores this June.
Coles adds to fairtrade coffee range
The housebrand manager at Coles summed the decision up thus: “Our Fairtrade Certified tea and coffee products are benefiting growers in Tanzania, India, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea and Peru. It’s been gratifying to see the impact that Fairtrade can have on families in these communities. Customers can buy Coles Fairtrade Certified products knowing that they are helping to deliver access to better healthcare and education for children in these regions, and better financial security for tea and coffee growers.”

There now that wasn’t too hard as it? Interesting to see the Fairtrade action in the house brand products, one wonders whether Coles would expend it commitment by providing better supply to terms to branded Fairtrade goods? That might be too much of a stretch! (PS And while we’re at it, can anybody tell me what kind of coffee the big chains use..Gloria Jeans, McCafe, Starbucks etc?)

Still this is a great move and Coles deserves kudos. A contrast in styles during a week when the scary-juggernaut-that-is-Woolworths has appalled its customers by imposing additional costs onto debit card users as reported in Inside Retailing.

Does anyone out there feel motivated to do a Fairtrade product comparative audit across different supermarket brands? I’d love to know the results.

The lucky country….. Lucky, stupid, dumb, complacent.

Posted in Marketing, advertising, ethics, sustainability with tags on April 30, 2010 by marketingheart

Australians are lagging behind the rest of the world in routinely buying Fairtrade food products, according to a report from Datamonitor. Datamonitor research found that, while 62 per cent of Australians believe it is important to choose grocery products that support Fairtrade, only 14 per cent are buying such products regularly i.e. ‘most of the time’ or ‘all the time’, which is even lower than the global average of 23 per cent (which presumably includes countries which can afford to support Fairtrade to a far lesser degree than us).

With the Fairtrade Fortnight approaching this coming May, Australians have a real opportunity to boost the Fairtrade movement in Australia. Fairtrade will apparently be running a campaign to encourage consumers to switch to Fairtrade products. The campaign called “The Big Swap” is modelled on the same which was run in the UK….not that there are any details of the campaign on Fairtrade’s website

Why is Australia so behind on these matters? Here, Datamonitor research says “it will require a concerted effort from consumers and industry players alike to bring Fairtrade into the mainstream”.

Oh well, an effort being required puts us out of contention, right?

Well, let’s see but let’s also give kudos where it’s due: Earlier this year for example, Fairtrade Certified Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate began to hit shelves across both Australia and New Zealand, benefiting more than 45,000 farmers in Ghana by providing them with the security of fair and stable prices for their produce, and investment in community development.

So, let’s see some action from Coles!! In the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s now lays claim to being the world’s biggest Fairtrade retailer, while the other supermarket companies have all backed Fairtrade to varying degrees.