Alternative trade organization and subjective quality of life: The case of Latin American coffee producers

Stephanie Geiger-Oneto, Eric J. Arnould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)


An alternative trade organization (ATO) is one where philosophies of social justice and/or environmental well-being preside over mission-based marketing transactions. The primary mission of such organizations is to develop equal partnerships among members of a marketing channel-the producers, retailers, and consumers. The present research uses data from one such ATO, TransFair USA, to examine the impact of Fair Trade marketing practices on coffee producers in Latin America. In this context, this study contributes to previous research by empirically testing the idea that participants in the Latin American fair trade coffee channel benefit from their participation as claimed by proponents of ATOs. Results show that producers belonging to a FairTrade organization reported a greater overall sense of well-being and a more positive outlook for their future as a result of their participation in the TransFair, USA coffee marketing channel as compared to nonmembers. Higher levels of participation in the cooperatives among participants with longer tenure in the organizations also enjoyed higher subjective quality-of-life perceptions. Results suggest that researchers should be cautious not to over generalize the effects of fair trade marketing on producers quality of life across contexts, marketing channels or countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-290
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


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