Conscious Consumption: Global & Local
Conscious consumption is growing across the global North as consumers increasingly look for assurances that what they buy is produced and traded under socially just and sustainable conditions. This growth in consumer consciousness supports a range of fair and alternative trade initiatives in international, national, and local agro-food systems. Our research reveals the spread of conscious consumption beyond niche markets into the North American mainstream.
Future research addresses consumers’ level of knowledge, engagement and participation in ethical consumption. We will also assess the key deterrents, such as lack of clear information, competing labeling schemes, or low levels of product availability, that prevent consumers from making a deeper commitment to “shopping with their values.”
In addition to research, CFAT is also actively engaged in outreach activities designed to raise public awareness of conscious consumption. These include participation in local alternative food and trade organizations such as Be Local Northern Colorado and Ten Thousand Villages as well leadership on a Fort Collins initiative to build a Community Marketplace.
CFAT Personnel: Douglas Murray, Laura Raynolds, Dawn Thilmany, Douglas Holt, Michael Long, Sneha Kadyan, & Laura Ridenour
Funding: Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority (DDA); Bohemian Foundation
- Weeks, Nefratiri & Laura T. Raynolds “Fair Trade Foods.” In H. Meiselman (ed.) Handbook on Eating and Drinking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New York: Springer, 2019.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Bridging North / South Divides through Consumer Driven Networks.” Pp. 167-178 in B. Halkier, et al. (eds.) Routledge Handbook on Consumption. NY: Routledge, 2017
- Long, Michael A. & Douglas L. Murray. “Consumer Convergence and Collective Motivations for Purchasing Ethical Products.” Research in Rural Sociology and Development 21:185-207, 2014.
- Long, Michael and Douglas Murray. “Ethical Consumption, Values Convergence/Divergence and Community Development.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. 26(2): 351-375, 2013.
- Michael A. Long. “An Analysis of Ethical Consumption Participation and Motivation.” Ph.D. Dissertation, Sociology Dept., Colorado State University, 2010.
- Douglas Murray et al. “Feasibility Study for the Community Marketplace Project” for the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority (DDA), 2009.
- Douglas Murray et al. “Inventory and Analysis of Private Certification Systems most Applicable to the Fort Collins and Northern Colorado Region” for the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority (DDA), 2009.
- CFAT has helped fund the Fort Collins Area Be Local Coupon Book and Eat Local Food Map, both currently produced by Be Local Northern Colorado. CFAT’s partnership with Be Local Northern Colorado highlights the linkages between local and global ethical consumption.
- CFAT. “The Conscious Consumer Report: Outline of Fair Trade, Alternative Trade, Organic and Locally Produced Food Products in the Fort Collins Community.”
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