There is a growing consensus, particularly among young people, that humans are damaging the environment beyond repair. For example, veganism in the UK has massively increased over the last few years (recent studies suggest a rise of 350% in the last 10 years), consumers are becoming more conscious behind their lifestyle choices and ethics is becoming a much more important topic for people as a factor in this lifestyle choice. Knowing that you are buying a product that is cruelty free or has less of an impact on the environment is becoming more of an important factor behind consumer decisions. These “ethical” purchases can play an important role behind helping preserve the environment, prevent cruelty not only to animals but also humans within the supply chain, make us feel better about ourselves that we as consumers are helping a cause, and overall strive for a healthy lifestyle and healthy planet.
So, what is ethical trade?
Ethical trade is the concept of trade being equal to humans as well as the planet. It looks at the individual producing the material (the farmer) to ensure that they receive a fair price and or where this material is being produced isn’t damaging the environment. Ethical policies within companies tend to address worker welfare, agricultural practises, natural resource conservation and sustainability of the environment.
This blog was created to raise awareness of issues across the planet from the deforestation of rainforests and biodiversity for our ever-increasing demand for palm oil in a huge range of products we use, through to the huge growing problem of worker exploitation and modern slavery within supply chains. It will explore a range of topics, from how current behaviours can potentially be modified by applying knowledge gleaned from psychology to what do the labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certification actually mean? We can talk about ideas to be more ethical during our daily lives through to buying certain products over others which may not be so ethical, and we will also talk about companies that are doing a good job in ethical trade as well as those which are not doing a good job.
I am an ethical auditor and hopefully through the creation of this blog I can provide information so that you, as consumers, can make a difference through your purchasing decisions. After all “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead