Consumer willingness to pay for domestic 'fair trade'

Evidence from the United States

P. H. Howard, Patricia Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The success of fair trade labels for food products imported from the Global South has attracted interest from producers and activists in the Global North. Efforts are under way to develop domestic versions of fair trade in regions that include the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Fair trade, which is based on price premiums to support agricultural producers and workers in the Global South, has enjoyed tremendous sales growth in the past decade. Will consumers also pay a price premium to improve the conditions of those engaged in agriculture closer to home? To address this question, consumer willingness to pay for food embodying a living wage and safe working conditions for farmworkers was assessed with a national survey in the United States. The question format was a discrete choice (yes/no) response to one of four randomly selected price premiums, as applied to a hypothetical example of a pint of strawberries. Multilevel regression models indicated that respondents were willing to pay a median of 68% more for these criteria, with frequent organic consumers and those who consider the environment when making purchases most willing to pay higher amounts. Although the results should be interpreted with caution, given the well-known gap between expressed attitudes and actual behaviors, we conclude that there is a strong potential market opportunity for domestic fair trade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

domestic trade
willingness to pay
activists
Food
Fragaria
farm labor
national surveys
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
working conditions
Agriculture
sales
strawberries
Canada
United Kingdom
foods
agriculture
markets
fair trade
Growth

Keywords

  • Consumers
  • Domestic
  • Ecolabels
  • Fair trade
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Consumer willingness to pay for domestic 'fair trade' : Evidence from the United States. / Howard, P. H.; Allen, Patricia.

In: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Vol. 23, No. 3, 18.08.2008, p. 235-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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