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Ethical labelling – challenges and challengers
Last Post 10/10/2015 15:55:25 by Jo_S. 1 Replies.
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Author Messages
New Member
New Member

09/10/2015 14:44:34
    Burning Issue Discussion Group
    Ethical Labelling

    Discussion Group Leaders
    - Lucy Findlay – Social Enterprise Mark
    - Conall O'Caoimh – Value Added Africa

    Introduction from Value Added Africa
    -Example of Cashews from Mozambique: 50kg bag packaged by producers into smaller value-added bags, and marketed direct at mainstream e.g. supermarket shelves
    Changing nature of developing world. Africa is changing. Moving away from colonial model of exporting raw materials and food products, to sale of manufactured products.
    -Example of taking Cocoa from bean to bar in Madagascar = 4 x the value in terms of economic activity
    -Example of the old tea export model of selling from farm to ship is changing to sale of packaged product = 6 x value in terms of economic activity
    -However a major challenge for the fair trade movement is finding producers with the food safety credentials required by major western buyers. Also the lack of capacity to fulfill orders.

    Discussion Points:
    - Green Tourism – questioned how the FSC marketing message (FSC forest as wildlife habitat) measures up to the science re biodiversity.
    = Carla Tavares (FSC) responded that this was an explicit requirement within Principle 6 'Value of Habitats'.
    - Would be good to see scale of forestry covered by FSC and the biodiversity stats and direction of travel.
    - Labels work better for simple supply chain products.
    - For more complicated issues (e.g. tourism) it is very difficult to produce a simple accreditation
    - Lack of gender equality in labelling schemes (inc. Green Tourism) was highlighted as an issue.
    - Bundled rankings are difficult to scrutinise (e.g. if you have a very particular concern)
    - Need for culture of shred values, openness and transparency
    - Sophie Goethals of Indonesian coffee importer Javagra – perspective of the South not taken into account (i.e. labels are focused on the consumers). Direct trade is of real importance. Scale is also a major issue.
    - Different standards for UK and wider Europe regarding Flocert making trade more difficult
    - Value Added Africa – working with Forum for the Future in the engagement of 20 top brands regarding what's needed to boost trade with Africa.
    - Issue of the money required for labelling scheme accreditation can be a block
    - Emergence of new data technology and opportunity to transform marketing of products when linked to international datasets on supply chain abuses. However this requires legislation such as the Californian Supply Chain Transparency Act.
    - 'Prominance' Systems using Bitcoin technology
    - Need for open source digitisation of labelling data
    - People Tree – knowing what consumers want to know (when making a purchasing decision) is an issue. Highlights the importance of understanding the issue and the language we use.
    - Divine Chocolate – 'ethical' is very loaded term. Prefer to use other terms.

    What are your thoughts?
    New Member
    New Member

    10/10/2015 15:55:25
    Hi there
    I was at this discussion which was very interesting and very fast moving. You've captured the point that I wanted to pick up on and expand, which was the view of Javagra that labels and labelling systems are very consumer focussed. The business I represent, Where Does It Come From?, labels clothes with a code so that the consumer can trace the whole lifecycle of the garment. We are also persuading our suppliers along the Fairtrade and the GOTS certification routes. They are happy to supply information for all these schemes but often ask me what is the benefit to them. Perhaps the bosses can see that more work might come along but the people on the ground are perplexed at how much information they need to collate for various organisations and why they need to do it. The bosses are more perplexed at the high costs they are asked to pay to be part of the schemes! It would be a real improvement if the schemes were collating information that was of benefit to the producers too and if they were involved in some of the discussions about what kinds of information to collect at why.
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