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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The sustainable consumption challenge : social marketing strategies targeting fair trade coffee Miner, Karen Lillian


The goal of this thesis is to assess the use of social marketing strategies for promoting the purchase of fair trade coffee by considering the following research questions: 1) What are the barriers to the purchase of fair trade coffee? 2 ) How can these barriers inform social marketing strategies aimed at initiating and maintaining the purchase of fair trade coffee? A theoretical framework is developed based on social marketing, community-based social marketing, and consumer behaviour. These three interlocking components form the foundation for a case study guided by the community-based social marketing process. The fair trade coffee case study involves stakeholders in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. Interviews with key stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, coffee roaster/retailers, and a fair trade certification body uncover a combination of internal and external barriers that limit the long-term success of fair trade as a mainstream consumer product. Recommendations include community-based social marketing strategies for overcoming internal barriers and general conclusions about the roadblocks presented by external barriers. Further research is suggested for completing the social marketing process, addressing all components of sustainable coffee not only fair trade, and revisiting the issue of fair trade within the larger context of sustainable production and consumption.

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