International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability vol:7 issue:4 pages:223-234
This paper investigates whether reframing an issue related to sustainable consumption can influence citizens' attitude towards that issue. Our investigation focuses on the case of Fair Trade in Flanders, Belgium. Fair Trade contributes to sustainable development by offering better conditions to marginalized producers in the South. Using an internet-based experimental setup, 1617 individuals were exposed to an NGO-based frame, a retailer-based frame, an experimental frame or no frame. Statistical analysis then indicated whether the experimental frame performed better than the control group and the other frames in shifting people's attitudes. Our results suggest that a brief exposure to a combination of tone, messenger, value and metaphor that signals the systemic aspects of Fair Trade may be successful in shifting the attitude and opinion of Flemish consumers/citizens in favour of Fair Trade. Our analysis suggests that the foundations metaphor that has been developed in the context of the environmental impact of food production can also be applied in the context of the social impact of food production.