Category Archives: Supply Chains

Follow and track the path from production to consumer. Transparency is vital.

CHANGE = THREAT

Innovation is just fancy word for change that should take place in order to improve a situation or process. 

 

But in our minds, this is what we instinctively think: “CHANGE = THREAT”

 Why can’t we make small changes in our daily habits that move in a circular consumer pattern? Why is it so hard to make a conscience choice as a consumer? The old liner economic description of our purchasing habits is in the process of renovation and we must be aware of how and why! 

 

MAKE – TAKE- THROW system is the existing Linear Economic Model. Did you know that the average person in the U.S. throws away approximately 4.5 pounds of trash per person every day. And actually we have become much better at recycling in the last years! There has been a approximately a 34% increase in recycling since 1990’s. That is great news! 

 

So we are beginning to accept the idea and the importance of recycling. But sad to say this is not enough. There has to be revolutionary changes in the way we design, package, purchase and dispose of products. New ideas in the design of the actual products and their packaging is vital. A wise person once told me, “We can not keep doing the same things but expect a different result!”  This is where we can find advancements in the consumer waste dilemma. Cradle to Cradle (read more here) innovation and product design offers a new approach to the Linear product model. The idea focuses on changing the way we design our products so they do not have a negative environmental impact. Redesign, renovation and reduction of waste! 

 

Mountains of Trash

“Every year, Americans throw away the equivalent of 50 Great Pyramids worth of “trash.” The products and packaging that we discard represent staggering amounts of natural resources, including oil and other energy sources required to manufacture products from virgin materials. The health impacts of toxic chemicals used in everyday products threaten our health and the environment, and there is a disproportionate impact on low-income communities from the improper management of these materials

Circular Economics is the change that we are looking for! Here you see a diagram of the concept:

Circular Economy

Next a focus on food waste.

Makeup needs a Fair Trade MAKEOVER!

makeup_CSR-sep

Week 3 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders

HELLOOO! Well, this is pretty sad. It was very hard to find cosmetic companies that are actually claiming to practice fair trade principles! Several companies focus on animal rights and do not test on animals (which is also  a very good thing!). But not too many cosmetic industry leaders are flexing their Fair Trade or Ethical Business mucles.

So, I guess this could be a good time to start putting a focus on the cosmetic industry to shape up their business practices. From my findings (yes, insert disclaimer here) there was only one clear winner: THE BODY SHOP

THE BODY SHOP  was awarded the Responsible Business of 2013.

  • Launched Community Fair Trade in 1987
  • 85% of The Body Shop’s product range contains Community Fair Trade ingredients.
  • Program benefits over 320,000 people
  • Spanning 21 countries worldwide.

The Body Shop has 25 Community Fair Trade supplies in the following ingredients:

  • Accessories from India
  • Aloe from Guatemala
  • Hemp from England
  • Maurula from Namibia
  • Alcohol from Ecuador
  • Brazil Nut from Peru
  • Honey from Ethiopia
  • Paper from Napal
  • Shea from Ghana
  • Tea Tree from Kenya

I know there are some up and coming skin care lines that are focusing on Environmental and Social Responsibilities practices. One of the local brands in my neighborhood is Kalahari Ancient Desert Secrets.

Obviously there are companies that are finding a niche in the ever growing popularity of Fair Trade. They are capitalizing on a market. (that’s the cynic in me talking) But that is not always for the bad.  Fair Trade marketing is creating an awareness that is good for the whole of the supply chain and the consumer. I will be looking into the checks and balances of the Fair Trade system next week in my final number for the Corporate Social Responsibility series.

Free2Work app does not even have a Cosmetics Industry. Download the app and activate the request for evaluation. Happy Friday!

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?”