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BRASS, United Kingdom

This paper provides an empirical contribution to the theoretical debate concerning the impact of fair trade governance on the essential development processes of diversification and value chain upgrading. Two main positions currently shape this debate: one that argues the payment of 'above market' prices will promote reliance by Southern producers on low value agricultural production; another that fair trade might actually alleviate barriers to diversification and facilitate export opportunities. Responding to a lack of empirically grounded literature, the paper focuses on involvement by the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) with two dedicated fair trade marketing networks. Based on qualitative case study research, analysis shows that dedicated fair trade organisations have played a significant role in promoting export diversification: particularly through the facilitation of market access and provision of the financial, social and physical capital needed to support such changes. Beyond this however, the study also highlights the importance and limitations of 'moral geographies' that permeate the construction of ethical credentials beneficial to the international marketing of Southern export producers in Northern consumer markets. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Whitmarsh L.,University of Cardiff | Whitmarsh L.,Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research | Whitmarsh L.,Center for Business Relationships
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2011

While scientific consensus and political and media messages appear to be increasingly certain, public attitudes and action towards the issue do not appear to be following suit. Popular and academic debate often assumes this is due to ignorance or misunderstanding on the part of the public, but some studies have suggested political beliefs and values may play a more important role in determining belief versus scepticism about climate change. The current research used two representative postal surveys of the UK public to: measure scepticism and uncertainty about climate change; determine how scepticism varies according to individual characteristics, knowledge and values; and examine how scepticism has changed over time. Findings show denial of climate change is less common than the perception that the issue has been exaggerated. Scepticism was found to be strongly determined by individuals' environmental and political values (and indirectly by age, gender, location and lifestyle) rather than by education or knowledge. Between 2003 and 2008, public uncertainty about climate change has remained remarkably constant, although belief that claims about the issue are exaggerated has doubled over that period. These results are interpreted with reference to psychological concepts of motivated reasoning, confirmation bias and 'finite pool of worry'. Implications for communication and policy are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Groves C.,Center for Business Relationships | Frater L.,Center for Business Relationships | Lee R.,Center for Business Relationships | Stokes E.,Center for Business Relationships
Journal of Business Ethics | Year: 2011

Nanotechnologies are enabling technologies which rely on the manipulation of matter on the scale of billionths of a metre. It has been argued that scientific uncertainties surrounding nanotechnologies and the inability of regulatory agencies to keep up with industry developments mean that voluntary regulation will play a part in the development of nanotechnologies. The development of technological applications based on nanoscale science is now increasingly seen as a potential test case for new models of regulation based on future-oriented responsibility, lifecycle risk management, and upstream public engagement. This article outlines findings from a project undertaken in 2008-2009 for the UK Government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) by BRASS at Cardiff University, involving an in-depth survey both of current corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in the UK nanotechnologies industry, and of attitudes to particular stakeholder issues within the industry. The article analyses the results to give an account of the nature of corporate social performance (CSP) within the industry, together with the particular model of CSR operating therein ('do no harm' versus 'positive social force'). It is argued that the nature of emerging technologies requires businesses to adopt particular visions of CSR in order to address stakeholder issues, and that the nanotechnologies industry presents specific obstacles and opportunities in this regard. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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