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The Fair Trade Concept


The concept of fair trade is typically viewed as beneficial to buyers. Indeed, the very concept of fair trade implies that no overpricing should occur when carrying out essential financial transactions between the suppliers and the producing companies (Delgado 2013). Therefore, the phenomenon of fair trade encourages sustainable development of the economy, contributing to the economic growth of the state and its companies immensely (Metzger 2014). However, apart from creating premises for higher clarity rates in the relationships between a supplier and a producer, the phenomenon under analysis can also be viewed as the tool for improving the quality of interactions between the company and the end customers (Krishna 2013). The observed phenomenon can be tracked down easily in any global economic process involving trade, the purchase of bananas being one of them (Dunn 2015).

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For instance, the concept of fair trade helps meet the needs of disadvantaged farmers, who are often forced to sell their product for an outstandingly low price (Cortada 2014). The phenomenon of fair trade, in its turn, serves as the shield for farmers, in general, and the ones that sell bananas, in particular, that guards them against dishonesty of global corporations (Rivoli 2014).

It is also assumed that the subject matter affects the choices made by consumers in the environment of the global market. Without the intermediaries that distort the target audience’s perspective of the product, its quality and the financial options that they have when purchasing it, the customers are likely to view the phenomenon of fair trade in a positive light. Therefore, it is expected that the further assessment of the effects that the use of the fair trade provisions have on customers as far as their choice of bananas is concerned will reveal a significant increase in enthusiasm. More importantly, there is a possibility that the use of fair trade principles when carrying out trade-related processes in the banana market helps build stronger and more trustful relations with customers, therefore, building the foundation for an increase in their loyalty. Consequently, the opportunities for farmers to set quality standards and, therefore, introduce price differentiation, can be created.

The goal of the study is to define the factors that predetermine customers’ choices as far as the purchase of fair trade bananas is concerned. Therefore, the study will seek to answer the following question: what compels the UK customers to buy fair trade bananas, and to what degree their political beliefs shape their decisions?

The reasons for choosing the topic in question are rather basic. The significance of fair trade is growing increasingly high in the context of the globalization process. As far as bananas are concerned, the identified product is typically viewed among the most popular ones (Akaichi, Grauw, & Darmon, 2015).


Data Collection Tool

Seeing that one will have to embrace a significant amount of population in order to collect the required information, it will be reasonable to choose a survey as the primary data collection tool (Rouhani 2015). A series of questions based on a Likert-scale framework will be distributed among the target population, i.e., potential customers of the companies operating in the fair trade environment and offering bananas as their products (Ridley-Duff & Bull 2015). The questions will suggest that the participants should evaluate the effects that fair trade has had on their experience as buyers. Furthermore, the changes that fair trade caused in the banana market for the identified audience will be assessed with the help of the survey under analysis. Survey will be used as the tool for designing the survey and providing the target members of the population access to the questions (Lurie 2016).

The data will be retrieved from two local shops (Co-op and John Lewis). Particularly, the visitors of the shop will be invited to participate in the survey. The survey will supposedly help shed light on the experiences of UK customers related to purchasing fair trade bananas (Yamoah et al. 2013). The choices of the customers will be viewed as the key dependent variable of the study, whereas the implications of fair trade will be considered the independent ones. Indeed, recent research on the subject matter pointed to the fact that the changes in the customers’ choices are affected significantly by the variability for which fair trade allows (Worldwatch Institute 2015). Furthermore, the lack of brand influence can be deemed as an essential variable that needs to be taken into account. The subject matter can also be interpreted as flexibility for which the realm of fair trade allows (Robinson 2014).

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The sample size is predetermined by the design of the study to a considerable extent (Clayton, ‎Bringle, ‎& Hatcher 2013; Patton 2014). In the case in point, it will be necessary to recruit at least 25 participants to ensure that the outcomes of the study should be credible and reliable (Habib, Patnik, & Maryam 2014; Salmons 2014). The accepted margin of error will equal 5% (MacKenzie et al. 2015; Gaspar, Coric, & Mabic 2015), whereas the confidence level will make 95% (Riasi 2015; Riasi & Aghdaie 2013). It is also assumed that the response distribution will make around 50% (Tabandeh, Abdollahi, & Rashidinejad 2014; Cappers et al. 2014). Based on the information provided above, it is possible to determine that the sample size of the population that will respond to the survey questions will equal approximately 25 people (Singh & Masuku 2013; Ghods et al. 2014).

Reference List

Akaichi, P, Grauw, C, & Darmon, J 2015, ‘Segmenting consumers according to their purchase of products with organic, fair-trade, and health labels’, Journal of Marketing Behavior, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 19–37.

Cappers, JMD, Page, J, Potter, J, & Stewart, E 2014, Future opportunities and challenges with using demand response as a resource in distribution system operation and planning activities, Web.

Clayton, ‎PH, Bringle, RG,‎ & Hatcher, JA 2013, Research on service learning: conceptual frameworks and assessments, Stylus Publishing, LLC, New York, NY.

Cortada, JW 2014, The essential manager: how to thrive in the global information jungle, John Wiley, New York, NY.

Delgado, M 2013, Social justice and the urban obesity crisis: implications for social work, CUP, New York, NY.

Dunn, K 2015, ‘Globalization and the consumer: what the marketer needs to know’, The Neumann Business Review, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 16-30.

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Gaspar, D, Coric, I, & Mabic, M 2015, ‘Data mining in customer profitability analysis’, Advances in Economics and Business, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 552-559.

Ghods, M, Najafpour, H, Lamit, HB, Abdolahi, N, & Rosley, MFB 2014, ‘Evaluation of the effective factors on online internet usage in organizations’, Life Science Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 58-63.

Habib, M, Patnik, B, & Maryam, H 2014, Research methodology – contemporary practices: guidelines for academic researchers, Cambridge Publishing, Cambridge, UK.

Krishna, A 2013, Customer sense: how the 5 senses influence buying behavior, Springer, New York, NY.

Lurie, Z 2016, Survey monkey, Web.

MacKenzie, K, Slater, G, King, N, & Byrne, N 2015, ‘The measurement and interpretation of dietary protein distribution during a rugby preseason’, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, no. 25, pp. 353 -358.

Metzger, K 2014, The import of culture? The Coca Cola Company in America and Australia, GRIN Verlag, New York, NY.

Patton, MQ 2014, Qualitative research & evaluation methods: integrating theory and practice, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, CA.

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Riasi, A 2015, ‘Barriers to international supply chain management in Iranian flower industry’, Management Science Letters, no. 5, pp. 363–368.

Riasi, A, & Aghdaie. SFA 2013, ‘Effects of a hypothetical Iranian accession to the world trade organization on Iran’s flower industry’, Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 99–110.

Ridley-Duff, R & Bull, M 2015, Understanding social enterprise: theory and practice, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Rivoli, P 2014, The travels of a t-shirt in the global economy: an economist examines the markets, power, and politics of world trade. new preface and epilogue with updates on economic issues and main characters, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.

Robinson, L 2014, Proceedings of the 2009 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference, Springer, New York, NY.

Rouhani, S 2015, Intersectionality-informed quantitative research: a primer, Web.

Salmons, J 2014, Qualitative online interviews: strategies, Design, and Skills, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Singh, AS & Masuku, MB 2013, ‘Fundamentals of applied research and sampling techniques’, International Journal of Medical and Applied Sciences, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 124-132.

Tabandeh, A, Abdollahi, A, & Rashidinejad, M 2014, ‘Stochastic congestion alleviation with a trade-off between demand response resources and load shedding’, International Journal of Smart Electrical Engineering, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 179-187.

Worldwatch Institute 2015, State of the world 2010: transforming cultures from consumerism to sustainability, Island Press, New York, NY.

Yamoah, FE, Fearne, A, Duffy, R, & Petrovici, D 2013, Fairtrade buying behaviour: we know what they think, but do we know what they do?, Web.

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