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Italian Fair Trade: reaching the same market success as in the UK

The turnover generated by the sales of Fair Trade products in Italy is a lot lower than the one reached in the UK. However the Italian Fair Trade model is widely appreciated for its ability to preserve and promote the original values of the social movement through the big involvement of ATOs and World Shops. This paper is aimed to understand whether Fair Trade in Italy can reach the same levels of market success as in the UK, still guaranteeing the preservation of its social values and therefore avoiding the dangers of co-optation, dilution, fair-washing and reputational damage. Different Italian organisations involved in importing, selling and certifying Fair Trade products were interviewed in order to understand opinions and thoughts of different stakeholders. Furthermore a questionnaire survey was run in the UK and Italy with the aim of understanding consumers knowledge and expectation about Fair Trade. The results showed that it is difficult for Italy to reach the same levels of Fair Trade turnover as in the UK. However the sustainable growth of the movement can be enhanced on the one hand through the expansion of mainstreaming and the bigger involvement of corporates (thanks to the Fairtrade certification), and on the other hand through the development of stronger World Shops networks and the empowerment of ATOs’ brands. Studies of this type are critical in order to promote the growth of Fair Trade and allow new marginalised producers to access this social movement.

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8 ID 200585433 1 - INTRODUCTION 1.1 - FAIR TRADE: A STORY 60 YEARS LONG Fair Trade can be generally defined as a social movement aimed to deliver better trading conditions to producers in developing countries in order to promote development (Moore, 2004; Becchetti and Costantino, 2010). Fair Trade tries to offer an alternative model for business that focuses on social objectives, such as guaranteeing human rights and adequate working conditions along the entire supply chain (Moore, 2004; Moore et al., 2006; Jaffee and Howard, 2010). It also tries to modify the model of international trade between North and South in which cutting down costs has always the highest priority (Renard, 2003; Raynolds and Long, 2007). In Europe Fair Trade started in the late 1950s when Oxfam imported handmade pincushions made by Chinese refugees in Hong Kong and then resold them in the United Kingdom (Tallontire, 2006; WFTO, 2011). In 1964 Oxfam created Oxfam Trading, the first ATO, and in the following years new ATOs emerged also in the Netherlands and Germany (WFTO, 2011). However Fair Trade until the end of the 1960s was still seen as a form of charity-based movement (Littrell and Dickson, 1997; Hockerts, 2005; Tallontire, 2006; Barrientos and Smith, 2007). The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the further expansion of the European movement with the birth of new trade relationships with the producers of the South, under a spirit of solidarity and the willingness to support poor communities and countries for political reasons (e.g. opposition to Apartheid, fight inequalities in the world economic system, etc.) (Van Tongeren, 1982; Tallontire, 2006). This change within the movement can be summarized with the slogan from the 1968 United Nations Conference on Trade: “Trade not Aid” (Barbetta, 2006; WFTO, 2011). Other important changes were the inclusion of food products in the Fair Trade channels, when the Dutch Sugar Cane Action first started to import cane sugar (Van Tongeren, 1982; WFTO 2011), and the opening of the first World Shop in 1969 in The Netherlands (Redfern and Snedker, 2002). New food products entered the European Fair Trade channels (e.g. tea, coffee, dried fruit etc.) and more European countries joined the movement (Hockerts, 2005). In the 1990s however it became clear that sales of Fair Trade products only through World Shops limited ATOs’ ability to reach more consumers and so the strategy of expanding the sales through mainstreaming channels was adopted increasingly, together with the birth and growth of national Fair Trade labelling institutions (Hockerts, 2005; Tallontire, 2006; Bennet, 2013).

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: School of Earth and Environment

Autore: Marco Vizzaccaro Contatta »

Composta da 67 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 243 click dal 12/10/2015.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.