Abstract: This paper focuses on the specific features of the Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) developed within the Fair Trade system. They are an example of an organizational business model able to create and alternative market where social and ethical aspects are prioritized over profit-seeking. Their example offers important insights about the possibility to create a degrowth-friendly market system. The study of ATOs shows the ideal-typical characteristics of an alternative entrepreneurial model and the social and structural features supporting it. This paper is based on five years of research on Fair Trade as an alternative market. It offers empirical evidence about the features of the ATOs -and their specific market-, which support their effective social performance in spite of contrasting conventional market constraints. The specific characteristics supporting ATOs entail specific cultural aspects, as well as specific organizational and structural features. These are at the core of this paper.
There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn’t exist in written format or is not published under open access.