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Concepts of price fairness: empirical research into the Dutch coffee market

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This paper researches perceptions of the concept of price fairness in the Dutch coffee market. We distinguish four alternative standards of fair prices based on egalitarian, basic rights, capitalistic and libertarian approaches. We investigate which standards are guiding the perceptions of price fairness of citizens and coffee trade organizations. We find that there is a divergence in views between citizens and key players in the coffee market. Whereas citizens support the concept of fairness derived from the basic rights approach, holding that the price should provide coffee farmers with a minimum level of subsistence, representatives of Dutch coffee traders hold the capitalistic view that the free world market price is fair.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fontys Hogescholen, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; 2: Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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