Does fair trade compete with carbon footprint and organic attributes in the eyes of consumers? Results from a pilot study in Scotland, the Netherlands and France

F Akaichi, S de Grauw, P Darmon, C Revoredo-Giha

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Several studies on ethical and social food attributes have shown that consumers, especially in developed countries, are willing to pay a price premium for fair trade foods products. However, there is a scant literature on how consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for fair trade products are affected by the presence of other ethical food attributes. To fill this gap, a choice experiment was conducted in Scotland, the Netherlands and France to assess consumers’ preferences and WTP for ethical attributes, i.e., fairtrade, organic, and lower carbon footprint, of bananas and to find out whether this ethical food attributes are competing in real markets. The results showed that in the three countries consumers are willing to pay a price premium for the three ethical food attributes. The results showed that in the current market situation these ethical foods are not generally competing against each other. Nonetheless, they are likely to become competing for consumer’s money at least when: (1) the price of organic foods is decreased significantly, (2) the price for fairtrade food products is set higher than consumers’ WTP, and (3) bananas labeled as having lower carbon footprint are made available in retail stores and sold at a price lower than consumers’ WTP
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969 - 984
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Issue number6
Early online date26 Sep 2016
Publication statusFirst published - 26 Sep 2016


Bibliographical note



  • Carbon footprint
  • Choice experiment
  • Fair trade
  • Organic
  • Trade-offs
  • Willingness to pay

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