The effect of altruism on Fair Trade consumption. Buying Fair Trade out of selflessness or self-benefit?
This research attempts to investigate the consumer characteristics of the Dutch Fair Trade consumer. The main relationship investigated is the effect altruism has on purchase intention and buying behaviour of Fair Trade tea. It was expected that altruism influenced both purchase intention and buying behaviour and that no self-interest was involved. It was also hypothesised that this relationship was stronger for women, millennials and households with a lower net income. An online survey was conducted with 175 participants among Dutch consumers to test hypotheses. The results indicated that altruism did impact purchase intention and buying behaviour of Fair Trade tea. However, a self-interest seems to be involved, indicating that impure altruism is the main driver for this behaviour. Additionally, only income seems to significantly impact whether people buy Fair Trade tea or not. Possible mediation effects are found for prosocial consumption and attitude toward Fair Trade, indicating that more variables are explaining this model. This study shows that altruism significantly influences consumer behaviour regarding Fair Trade, provides insights into the Dutch Fair Trade consumer and provides useful insights for Fair Trade organisations. Keywords: Fair Trade, ethical consumption, consumer behaviour, altruism, impure altruism
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen