Sales of the new CRG FT chocolate range outperformed the previous own label rangeby over 30 per cent and is regarded as a key success. According to Brad Hill, CRG FTMarketing Manager:The success of the CRG Fairtrade chocolate venture resulted in the move to switch the entireCRG own label range of coffee to Fairtrade (interview with Brad Hill, 2005).Due to its distribution via the mainstream retailers Day has been in a position to carryout Supermarket staff training and leverage space in supermarket staff magazines andtherefore addressing some of the concerns outlined by Byles (2006). Another exampleof Day influencing mainstream practice is in the case of a leading high street coffeechain who commented:Working with Day on Fairtrade chocolate has provided us with access to the ‘‘FairtradeCommunity’’ which is a diverse group of individuals, NGOs, companies and opinion formers.Being a part of this broad group is healthy and provides us with the opportunity tounderstand and contribute to the debate (interview with trading manager at leading highstreet coffee shop chain, 2005).The activity of Day shows how companies can leverage their social resources in themainstream. Doherty and Meehan (2006) argue that while re-constructing the theory ofmarketing, Vargo and Lusch (2004) still do this within the confines of a managerialisttradition that underemphasises the interest of upstream stakeholder groups such asproducers of coffee and cocoa. Vargo and Lusch (2004, p. 2) observe: ‘‘The relative roleof operant resources [resources that enable change to be effected in chiefly physicalresources – knowledge and processes for example] began to shift in the late twentiethDownloaded by York University At 17:25 08 April 2017 (PT)
EOI26,7706century as humans began to realize that skills, relationships and knowledge were themost important types of resources’’. Doherty and Meehan (2006) propose thatintangibles such as company’s ethical and social standards can be an appealingfoundation for differentiation in increasingly valuable retail segments and an attractionfor business partners looking to position themselves on such a basis. They refer to suchresources as ‘‘social resources’’ which are made up of three inter-related componentswhose simultaneous presence underwrites the credibility of a product/service offertargeted at the ‘‘ethical consumer’’. The components are (1) Ethical and socialcommitments; (2) Connections with partners in the value network; and (3)Consistencyof behaviour over time to build trust. This research shows the central brandproposition of farmer ownership made Day Chocolate attractive both to partners suchas Comic Relief and CRG as well as consumers. Further research will be conducted onthe value of these intangible resources to develop the concept of social resources.