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Durham e-Theses
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Fair trade in food: the role of purchasing policy

Griffith, Alison (1995) Fair trade in food: the role of purchasing policy. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines the role of Alternative Trade Organisations (ATOs) in linking food producers in the developing world with consumers in the UK. 'Fair trade', as it has become known, involves consumers making purchases on the understanding that producers will receive benefits as a result of the trade. The inequities of the international trading system for developing countries is discussed, followed by a chapter which considers the expansion of the fair trade movement as a response to those inequities. Fair trade is facing new opportunities as it moves from a predominantly craft sales base towards more food products. The thesis explores the specific issues which ATOs must consider when trading in foods. Two chapters discuss the problems of trading with small, rural and often vulnerable producers in developing countries, and the role that ATOs can play in providing a more certain environment. The provision of appropriate information is shown to fulfil a particularly important function. It is argued that trade can be beneficial at a micro level but that ATOs must use policies which can help them 'maximise-the-best and minimise-the-worst' effects of the trade. These policies can guide them to trade relationships which are most likely to realise positive benefits to the producers. Part 2 of the thesis covers a case study with a large ATO, Traidcraft, whose strategy for the 1990s is to expand food sales. As part of this agenda the company wanted to re-write their Food Purchasing Policy and the research process to achieve this is described. All existing food products were reviewed against the new policy and the product group of dried fruit illustrates some of the issues which have to be considered by the company in the light of the findings. The thesis seeks to demonstrate how the purchasing policy can guide Traidcraft in their selection of producers. It also considers the complexity of bringing together producers and consumers in a way which is both profitable and sustainable.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1995
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 15:11

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