“Our fair trade coffee tastes better”: It might, but under what conditions?

Stuart C. Carr, Ines Meyer*, Mahima Saxena, Christian Seubert, Lisa Hopfgarten, Bimal Arora, Divya Jyoti, Robert Rugimbana, Heather Kempton, Leo Marai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sustainability of Fair Trade ultimately relies on consumers choosing fair-traded products. To date, research has tended to study consumer and producer engagement, and reactions to Fair Trade separately. These areas do, however, interconnect systematically through supply chains. In this paper, we introduce a self-catalyzing model of Fair Trade which acknowledges those interconnections, traces them along supply chains from producer to consumer and addresses different international development priorities articulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Its conceptual elements span (a) product quality, in this case, taste experience influenced by organoleptic properties and moral satisfaction; (b) organizational morality via corporate social responsibility and living wages; and (c) strategic management of slack farming resources—each catalyzed by, and catalyzing, positive emotions. Contingencies at each point in the model alter the likelihood that produce will be and feel fair and taste better to consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-612
JournalJournal of Consumer Affairs
Issue number2
Early online date28 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Carr, S.C., Meyer, I., Saxena, M., Seubert, C., Hopfgarten, L., Arora, B., Jyoti, D., Rugimbana, R., Kempton, H. and Marai, L. (2021), “Our fair trade coffee tastes better”: It might, but under what conditions?. J Consum Aff. , 56 (2), pp. 597-612. which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/joca.12416. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Funding: South African National Research Foundation, Human and Social Dynamics Initiative, Grant/Award Number: 115573.


  • living wages
  • supply chains
  • sustainable consumption


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