Monday, July 24, 2006

The role of RED in fairer trading

This FT article about cotton production and the development of more Fairtrade clothing ranges, notably by M&S, sums the role of initiatives like RED and Fairtrade thus "Brands can add a lot of value, but part of their appeal is their exclusivity, and the higher price that enables a less efficient supply chain to exist will also limit demand for its output. At the very least, it should help connect those producers with consumers who want to know exactly what they are wearing or eating, and to whom the benefits will go. Perhaps Fairtrade and Product Red ought to be judged not on whether they fundamentally change the world trading system, which they won’t, but whether they can pull some marginalised producers into the one we have".

Sunday, July 23, 2006

BP working with other companies to monitor suppliers

Suppliers' activities can contribute significantly to business risk which is why BP and competitors are joining forces in an interesting development reported by the Telegraph. Using their combined resources to share information, the companies will minimise potential risks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Times reports that the organic foods store Wholefoods is launching in London on the site of the old Barker's store in Kensington. The site is vast and is in a very affluent area (just a few yards from Kensington Palace in fact) so looks set to capitalise on a growing market.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Friends Provident say women more interested in ethical investments

Ethical purchasing is growing four times faster than UK household income, according to the Co-operative Bank's annual Ethical Purchasing Index. This Telegraph article however, points to huge growth within ethical investing - from £613 in 1996 to £4 billion in June 2006.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sainsbury's approach to corporate responsibility

Fresh Info reports "Sainsbury’s policy on corporate responsibility comes down to five key points, according to the retailer’s latest report. The Corporate Responsibility report states the company is striving to be “the best for food and health”; “show respect for our environment”; “source with integrity”; make a “positive difference to our community”, and be “a great place to work”.The report also listed Sainsbury’s achievements for the last year, which include: donating £3.3million to charities through its food donation scheme; launching organic compostable packaging; becoming the biggest UK retailer of Fairtrade products; reducing road mileage by five per cent and raising its investment in community initiatives by 170 per cent to £18.6m".

Friday, July 07, 2006

Asda push for fairtrade kitemark on UK products

There is some doubt over ASDA's approach to Fairtrade Foundation for a 'Fairtrade kitemark' for food produced by UK farmers. While UK shoppers admit to some confusion about Fairtrade labelling, the addition of a Fairtrade kitemark for UK products might not help, since consumers associate the label with helping poorer farmers in developing countries.