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Academic publications

FAIR TRADE – CONTRADICTING OR COMPLEMENTING SE? A critical research on RISE's Fair Trade activities within a social entrepreneurial framework, Gottlieb, Mikkel , Department Psychology and Eduction, 06/2014, Volume Social Entrepreneurship and Management, Roskilde, (2014) , (Academic Publication)
Quality of Vietnamese cocoa liquor and butter, Phuc, Cat-Hanh Nguyen , Faculty of Bioscience Engineering - University of Gent (Belgium), 2013, Volume Msc., Gent, (2013) , (Academic Publication)
A product chain organisation study of certified Cocoa supply, Afrane, George, Arvidsson Rickard, Baumann Henrikke, Borg Josefin, Keller Emma, Canals Llorenç Milà í, and Selmer Julie K. , The 6th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, 08/2013, Gothenburg, (2013) , (Academic Publication)
Social Innovation Among Ethnics in Cocoa Farming at Sulawesi, Indonesia , Fahmid, Imam Mujahidin , Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare , 11/2013, Volume Vol.3, Issue 15, (2013) , (Academic Publication)
Sustainable cocoa - a matter of taste?, Laven, Anna, and van der Kooij Susanne , Origin Chocolate Event, 10/2013, Royal Tropical Institute , (2013) , (Academic Publication)

Good chocolate? An examination of ethical consumption in cocoa

sjon van 't hof's picture
TitleGood chocolate? An examination of ethical consumption in cocoa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBerlan, Amanda
JournalEthical Consumption: Social Value and Economic Practice
Date Published2012///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordschain governance, chains & relations, consumers, cultural and social anthropology, ethical trade, ethics, fair trade

This chapter investigates some of the current meanings attached to a particular commodity, cocoa, and the way in which it is constructed as ethical or unethical. The question of how different parties create, build and sustain the ethical qualities of a product is especially significant in relation to cocoa. In this chapter the aim is to deconstruct the ethicality of cocoa in order to understand some of the current ideas that are attached to it and why cocoa is often described using labels such as ethical or exploitative. These labels are unpicked, based not on producer experiences but on the basis of anthropological theory. What is presented about the ethicality of cocoa draws attention to the role of social anthropology in understanding ethical consumption more broadly and in helping make sense of the moral maze confronting consumers in their daily lives. The concept of ‘ethical consumption’ does not reflect only the time and place, and culture and society, of ethical consumers. As I have argued, it also demonstrates enduring aspects of human existence. Anthropology is well placed to shed light on these and on the ways that they shape ethical consumption. My use of the ideas of Mary Douglas indicates that even though the moral consciousness of UK consumers may seem far removed from the Old Testament and tribal cosmologies that concern her, all construct taboos, fear and pollution in particular ways and seek to restore purity based on systems of classification. In this respect, the study of ethical consumption offers insights reaching far beyond notions of justice in international trade and raises questions at the very heart of human cognition and behaviour.