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Places where people matter: the marketing dynamics of Fairtrade Towns

Peattie, Kenneth John ORCID: and Samuel, Anthony ORCID: 2015. Places where people matter: the marketing dynamics of Fairtrade Towns. Social Business 5 (3) , pp. 237-254. 10.1362/204440815X14441363902438

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Purpose The purpose of this study was to understand how Fairtrade Towns, a relatively new but rapidly expanding phenomenon that promotes social business in terms of the consumption of Fairtrade products, operate as a form of place-based marketing network. This paper, which underpinned a Keynote Address delivered at the Second Biannual Social Business Conference, explores how Fairtrade Towns combine the ‘people’ dimension of Fairtrade marketing with a place-based perspective. Methodology This project applied grounded theory and gathered data through long-term ethnographic involvement in one Fairtrade Town initiative, and interviews with 29 key participants across 11 other Fairtrade Towns. Findings The dynamics of Fairtrade Towns operating as marketing systems went far beyond just conventional ethical consumption behaviours driven by concerns for other people in other places. Elements of consumer citizenship linked to civic engagement, the exploitation and development of local social networks and social capital, and connections with local place identity all combine to create a form of place-based community marketing with a unique ability to connect people in producer and consumer communities for social benefit. Contribution This study demonstrates the need to understand phenomena such as Fairtrade Towns, not as abstract marketing systems, but as activities and processes driven by, and concerned about, real people in real places. It contributes to the growing appreciation of the need to understand particular aspects of social business from a multidisciplinary perspective. Keywords: Fairtrade, Ethical marketing, Consumer citizenship, Place marketing, Grounded theory

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Publisher: Westburn
ISSN: 2044-4087
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 22 September 2015
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 21:12

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