Monday, 23 February 2015

Fare Becoming Less Fair?


Somewhat sad news that the total UK sales of Fairtrade foods in the UK has fallen for the first time in the 20 years of the schemes's existence (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/23/fairtrade-sales-fall-first-time-20-year-existence). This is attributed (by a number of commentators) to the changed buying habits by 'cash-strapped' consumers and the increased frequenting of discounting supermarkets (who are less involved with products receiving the label). Given the claims that things are improving economically, I am not entirely convinced by this argument. Fairtrade is a nice idea but not many people really delve into the backgrounds of individual products. 'Organic' is another 'ethical label' but also seems less powerful as a marketing device currently (I have to say that it is scientifically meaningless as any compound containing carbon is organic so far as chemists are concerned). Might this not be an early sign of what might be called 'ethical fatigue'?

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