Project examines the availability and consumer perceptions of fair trade
What: Student Research on fair trade in Kelowna
Who: UBC students in Cultural Studies and English programs
When: Friday, January 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna.
Fair trade: Do Kelowna consumers want it? Can they find it?
Students from UBC’s Okanagan campus have published the outcome of their project on the availability and consumer perception of fair trade in Kelowna. During their research the students asked: Why are there so few certified fair trade products in Kelowna coffee shops? Why are organic and local foods so much more popular and visible on grocery store shelves? Can we trust the fair trade label? Is the fair trade movement a matter of global justice or a means for privileged people in the global north to “help” people in the global south?
The report includes results of consumer surveys, interviews with retailers, and analyses of the marketing of fair trade goods.
While the students found that many people believe fair trade is more ethical, consumers have few options to buy fair trade certified products in Kelowna. As well, organic and locally-produced goods are much more prominent in grocery stores and coffee shops.
“A key finding of the research is that the health and well-being of consumers seems much more important to the consumers than the health and well-being of the farmers and workers who produce the food they eat,” says UBC Assoc. Professor David Jefferess, who supervised the class project.
The students’ report will be launched at a special AlterKnowledge discussion series Friday, January 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free, open the public, and takes place at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna.
The AlterKnowledge Discussion series, organized by UBC Asst. Professor Allison Hargreaves and Jefferess, seeks to bring people together to discuss, share, and (un)learn, focusing on critical engagements with the way colonialism continues to shape relationships and identities in both local and global contexts.
The project was part of a class on Globalization and Culture which examines global relationships, social inequality, and movements for social justice.
View the full Report, “Is it Fair? Do We Care?” at: news.ok.ubc.ca/fccs/2015/01/14/is-it-fair-do-we-care