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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Chocolate: An Analysis of Cost versus Quality in the Fair Trade Movement
by Crooks, Erin, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2010, 62; 10305777
Abstract (Summary)

An increasing number of products can be found with a Fairtrade label in today's grocery stores worldwide. This label signifies to the consumer that "fair wages" were paid to the producer. In order to sell a Fairtrade certified product, a company must be a member of one of several international Fair Trade Organizations, however, this membership comes at a cost. Regardless if it is the retailer, manufacturer or consumer who pays that extra cost, the question remains whether it is representative of the quality of that product. This thesis will demonstrate that quality is not necessarily reflected in the price of Fairtrade certified chocolates.

In this paper I examine Parisian chocolateries for their renowned quality chocolates and their unique supplier/producer models. Data was collected primarily from Richart, a luxury chocolaterie and Alter Eco France, a Fair Trade-affiliated manufacturer of chocolates and other food products. The way these entities function demonstrate the numerous ways in which buyer and producer relate and how businesses, which seek high quality maintain their level of high standards.

Aside from the monetary costs of Fair Trade, this work uses the concepts of "label fatigue" and "political consumerism" to illustrate disadvantages or "costs" faced by the consumer. In addition, this work illustrates the ways in which multinational corporations have joined Fair Trade and how they are challenging the nature of it. The study suggests that because the goals of the Fair Trade movement focus solely on the rights of the producer the consumers' rights are overlooked.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Maila, Joseph
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Food Science, Commerce-Business
Keywords: Chocolate, Fair Trade, Price, Product quality
Publication Number: 10305777
ISBN: 978-1-369-49341-2
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