Fair Trade and social responsibility – whose duty? Estonian consumers’ attitudes and beliefs
¹Tallinn University of Technology, Faculty of Economics, Institute of Business Administration, Ehitajate 5, EE19086 Tallinn, Estonia
²MTÜ Mondo, Telliskivi 60A, EE10412 Tallinn, Estonia
This article investigates how the Estonian consumers endorse the idea of Fair Trade (FT) and understand the principles of social responsibility. The article is based on a study on Fair Trade and social responsibility conducted in 2014. The study examined the consumers’ attitudes and beliefs associated with FT and local Estonian agricultural production. The article aims to compare if there are any difference in the beliefs and attitudes among the Estonian consumers towards supporting local farmers and producers versus supporting the FT ideas which benefit the farmers and producers from the Global South. The authors fully recognize that there is no competition among these two groups per se, but the perception exists in the minds of the consumers. The respondents of the nation-wide representative sample (n = 1,007) evaluated the responsibility of different economic agents such as public sector, retailers, suppliers, producers, and consumers. Most of the respondents regarded the principle of social responsibility as giving the priority to local Estonian agricultural production. The Estonian consumers tend to be skeptical about the benefits of FT or the workers and farmers from the developing countries. The awareness and knowledge about FT ideas is not high.