What is alternative trading?
Other than researching into the commodity production, another method is infiltrating the shopping spaces where consumers first engage with commodities. This method is called alternative trading, and it has already been used extensively, although it can be exploited more to engage with customers and their consumption patterns. Many new markets, such are organic and fair-trade, have emerged and sold to those who shop more ethically and consciously. Alternative trading transparently displays the environment the products have been produced in and their effects. The profit of these products goes towards helping the lives of those producers whom may have faced inequality in work. The idea is to ensure that the label on the product highlights the source to make the customers think about where they are buying their products from and to alter and influence their choices hopefully. The fair-trade label is seen frequently on many products across the supermarket, and it is increasingly desirable for companies to achieve this label to attract more conscientious shoppers. Although, obtaining fair-trade is not an easy process and businesses have to go through many regulations and alter production and operation methods. Many of these companies are smaller ‘owner owed and ran’ businesses that can control what is going on at a small scale and achieve the multifaceted requirements of being fair-trade. As well as the production of products, they must also consider the distribution of their products to consumers. Fair-trade organisations tend to focus on shorter channels of distribution to ensure that more of the profit returns to the producers. Creating a relationship between the importers and producers is also important in guaranteeing that the importer’s actions also coincide with the ethical beliefs of the producers. This is an example of how alternative trading can combat commodity fetishism in the beginning stages of production, and advertising it to customers can make significant changes in how they shop. Shopping can become less of just consumption and can act as a method of protest to unethical production as it questions and instils morals in consumers. It also appeals to the ego of customers as they feel principled purchasing ethically, and therefore are more likely to continue to shop ethically and think about the sources of products.