From Our Correspondent

THREE WAYS TO ASSESS IF A PRODUCT/BUSINESS IS ETHICAL

So many people now are looking for ethically-sourced food, but what is it, and why is it so important?

People worldwide are increasingly wanting to better understand the real benefits ethically-sourced food offers positive health, wellbeing, sustainability, environment and community outcomes.

Leading this trend are ethical businesses which identify and set clear objectives to meet these consumer demands.

Customers now demand to know the origins of their food and the impact its production and delivery has on the country and planet.

What are the three things you need to know when considering if a product or business is ethical?

1. Respect for People
2. Respect for Animals
3. Respect for the Environment

Each of these three areas sits within four important categories:

Health and wellbeing: how people are treated in the work environment is an essential ingredient when assessing whether a business is ethical. This includes guaranteeing the food producer provides workers with a fair wage, training and career opportunities, as well as a thoughtful and motivating work environment. Health and wellbeing also includes the care and responsibility of animals by providing a respectful environment for them with sufficient space to enjoy the outdoors during the day and suitable facilities at night and in all weathers.

Sustainability: is made-up of three pillars that includes economy, society and the environment. These are also the guiding principles relating to profit, people and planet. To ensure than are living sustainably, people must refuse what they don’t need, reduce what they’re getting, reuse it and recycle or compost it. Resources are managed to prevent harm to the environment, and ultimately regenerate the land and improve biodiversity.

Using recycled materials or renewable resources when building is an example of sustainable development. Building a new community in a previously undeveloped area without destroying the ecosystem or harming the environment is an example of sustainable development.

Obligation to care for the land: taking steps to reduce energy use where possible, by deriving electricity from renewable sources and water harvesting such as using solar energy.

Environmental Responsibility: this goes hand-in-hand with sustainability and includes ensuring heat recycling, harvesting rainwater for irrigation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Where appropriate, waste separation, reduction and recycling should be the aim to reduce pollution and create harmony with nature through the responsible use of water and soil resources and implementation of good crop management practices that includes developing tree planting programs and the nurturing and conservation of wildlife.

The good news is there are many and varied opportunities to incorporate Community and Corporate Responsibility in an ethical business, and you can encourage these by letting businesses know what you expect and want.

While it depends on the nature of particular businesses, ways that companies have assumed community and corporate responsibility include:
• Reducing carbon footprints
• Charitable giving
• Volunteering in the community
• Corporate policies that benefit the environment
• Socially- and environmentally-conscious investments.

Companies that raise the importance of social sustainability recognise the significance of their relationships with people, communities and society.
They maintain where possible the quality of society and enhance human life.

Subscribe