A HUGE Thank you!!! Think Fair Trade when you shop!

Thank you shop fair tradeWow!  I am impressed and grateful!!!

Thank you so much to all my friends and family for stepping up to the call for help! Last week I sent out a Facebook request for visits to my Fair Trade and Ethical Business blog for traffic and feedback.

Ya’ll sent the stats flying to a whoppin’ 558 Views!!!

There were some vitally important feedback that were initiated immediately and some things that will be added to my blog pipeline of “work in progress”. I sincerely appreciate your help and I hope that you will continue to visit my site and maybe remember that Fair Trade is making a huge difference in the lives of people all over the world. And that is a very good thing!

I will continue my series on the Business Leader in Ethical Business and plan on adding a weekly Tips section that will focus on short helpful shopping tips to focus on fair trade shopping. (LOOK FOR THE HELPER- Rosie to the Rescue)

Follow the Leaders in Fashion and Fair Trade!

Fair Trade Fashion zara timberland eileen fisher

Week 2 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders

Times are changing! Isn’t this exciting? Leaders in the fashion industry are beginning to make changes in the way they do business. These three brands are leaders in fashion and in Fair Trade as well.

Eileen Fisher(B+) Zara (A-) and Timberland(A-) have received a rating of at least a B+ by the Free2Work organization.

Apparel industry leaders are quickly adapting to the call of the consumer for ethical business practices and are making changes in the purchasing of cotton and labor practices. Here are how the companies are ranked for Fair Trade:

  • Code of Conduct & Written Policies: Evaluated by a brands code of conduct, its sourcing and subcontracting policies, and its involvement with other organizations working to combat child labor and forced labor.
  • Transparency and Traceability: How the brand understands its own supply chain and whether it discloses critical information to the public regarding child and forced labor.
  • Monitoring & Training: The adequacy of the brand’s monitoring program to address child and forced labor.
  • Worker Empowerment & Remediation: Assess the degree to which the band provides workers with core labor protections and rights such as freedom of association and living wage. Also how a brand is prepared to respond to reported abuses.

*Research relies on publicly available information and company sources of information.

This description was found on the Free2work.org app that is available for smartphones.

Download and do some fun smart and responsible shopping. Happy Friday!

Helping farmers reduce the work load.

Fair Trade Coffee Corporate Social Responsibility

Week 1b of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders

Nespresso AAA Ecolaboration was launched in 2009.

Working with all levels of the Value Chain, Nespresso will focus on education of the local famers as one of their priorities.  One small step from a  corporate giant can have a huge and powerful impact on the lives of the famers that they work in the coffee fields in Guatemala.

You can read more about one of the farmers that has participated in the Nespresso AAA program. He has learned more efficient methods of farming thus reducing time and removing child labor from his fields.

Read more about Louis Alfonso, Coffee Farmer, Jardin, Columbia.

Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it’s the Big Guys!

Week 1 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders

Nespresso, not everything to everyone, but they are a fascinating leader in the field of coffee production, sustainability and above all marketing!

My husband’s birthday was quickly approaching and I had decided that his gift would be a coffee maker.  I had done some shopping around in my local neighborhood and was  narrowing in on a sleek machine with award winning design (Scandinavian design that is!).  With only three days to go before the big day, I was beginning to panic because I had not bought the machine yet.  Out of the blue, a girlfriend calls and invites me  to go shopping and out to lunch. Of course I couldn’t say no!Her number one priority was to go by the Nespresso shop and buy more coffee cartridges for her coffee machine.

We walked into the Nespresso store and Wow! What a concept!  This shop is an ideal example of a company that has perfected the science of  marketing.  (Do they have a Nespresso shop in your neighborhood??? If so, go check it out!) I actually think that I’ve heard that marketing/sales people make the easiest sells.  When it comes to a product that I am interested in and the company is good at marketing- I am a sucker!  Of course I decided that THIS was the coffee machine that I would buy for my husband’s birthday present after my visit to the shop!  Sleek design, welcome bundle, all the bells and whistles!

As I am contemplating my acquisition,  I realized that  you  not only buy a coffee maker but you invest in a supplier of coffee as well!  But before I confirm the purchase, I had to step up and ask my advocacy question: Does Nespresso sell FAIR TRADE COFFEE???  I swallowed hard and waited for the cashier to stop starring at me like a deer in headlights.  She asked me what I meant by Fair Trade and  I thought, “Oh man, I knew it was too good to be true!” She quickly registered my disappointment and called for assistance. Two other sales assistance came to her rescue and started volunteering information about the  partnership between Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program and Rainforest Alliance.

I had to stop them and ask how these programs actually affected the people working in the fields and their conditions. At that time both of the new sales assistants began to explain the AAA Sustainable Quality program which I felt like was a good approach to growing the coffee and replenishing the environment, helping to educate the local coffee farmers of South America in business practices and investing and upgrading production facilities. You can read more about the Nespresso  Ecolaboration.

AAA Nespresso

“By 2013, we aim to source 80% of our coffee through our Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™
Program. This means that we will be working with 80,000 farmers in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Costa
Rica, Guatemala and two new countries – Nicaragua and India.”

Nespresso AAA coffee

So just remember, before you purchase, you can ask, “Is this product participating in a Fair Trade program?”

“Today is all you’ve got now…”

 

“Don’t close your eyes…” Changes in consumer habits are happening! But don’t forget, we the consumers, are the ones that can make corporations stand accountable for transparency in supply chains and worker rights (no children working in slave shops for our “pretty shiny” purchases).

I just love a good jam session on a Friday afternoon! Switchfoot, “This is your life” was right on target for me today. How about you? What music gives you inspiration?