Ethical Sourcing – Quality or Price?

When we speak about ethical sourcing we speak about products that are sourced and created in safe facilities by workers who are treated well and paid fair wages to work legal hours. Ethical sourcing also implies that the supplier is respecting the environments during the production or the manufacture of those products.

Now my question is: how many of you actually CARE where the products come from, who worked for them, how many gallons of water were there used or how was it tested? In such a difficult global economical situation, the question comes down to: do we afford to care?

Can you AFFORD to pay up to double in food to provide your family ethically sourced products? Do you have the TIME to spend to read each and every single label in order to comprehend which product is ethically sourced and which is not? In my case anyway the answer to these questions is generally NO. And considering the present market and the present economical situation I find that ethical sourced products are fit for those who can afford them, who are extremely interested in the issue, highly opinionated and dedicated to ethical consumerism. Even though ethically sourced products are not MUCH more expensive than any other, it probably makes a difference for a mother or for student at the end of the month.          

There are some other elements blocking accessibility to ethical consumerism. Some involve lack of awareness, for example, of which product is ethically sourced and which is not and one of them is labeling. In my view if a particular product was promoted and advertised on the shelf or FRONT label as ethically sourced, and the price difference was not tremendous, me as a student, I would go for it. But yet again, I would not want unethically sourced products to get the same treatment. For example when going to a cheap clothing shop, I would not want to know that my T-shirt was made in Uzbekistan by a 6 year old or that working on my phone, a person was not paid properly.

The conclusion is, sometimes people can’t afford to have QUALITY and they only look at the PRICE! Stay tuned, Ruxi and Oana will blog about CSR and animal testing!

Tell us what you think!

This little video explains the process of ethical sourcing including major stakeholders, of a major company. It is quite interesting and easy to understand.

by Diana

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5 thoughts on “Ethical Sourcing – Quality or Price?

  1. Tom says:

    I think there will always be two categories of people: those who simply can’t afford to buy ethical sourced food and shop just by looking at prices, and those, that can actually AFFORD to care about quality and they shop from ethical, green, environmental-friendly supermarkets such as Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.. and this situation can’t be altered as the term ETHICALLY SOURCED means a higher price, and the majority of students, for example, will always be hold back by their incomes… even though they might have an interest in where their food or clothing is coming from…

  2. Stuart says:

    I think that the majority of the western middle class are probably incapable of suddenly paying up to double to ensure that their food comes from ethical sources. Should we stop at food? Cothing being sewn by children in deathtrap factories in Malaysia and Vietnam? The same with kids’ toys. There is also a portion of our western society who simply won’t care, not much we can do about those ones. The reality is, the laws of supply and demand will drive the markets If enough consumers demand products that are ethically sourced eventually the producers will have to comply, insofar as we as consumers have the option to hold out on our purchasing until such products are available and priced so that we can afford them. The producer taking a ‘hit’ is going to be a better option than the producer being shut out completely at some point from the producers perspective. To achieve this, however, is a monumental task that would require collaboration and cooperation on a global scale. I don’t think that’s right, morally or ethically, but I think that’s the way it is right now.

  3. Thank you very much for sharing your view Tom. You consider that there will always be those two categories of consumers. Do you reckon if all producers, as Stuart mentioned, would come to a point in which all their products would be available and at a reasonable price whilst being ethically sourced, consumers might prefer more ethically sourced products and CARE?

    Diana

  4. Hello Stuart…What do you think is the ration between people that simply don’t care and people that can’t afford it? Do you think that there will be a point in the near future, in which people who can’t afford it, will demand more reasonable prices for ethically sourced products? What can we do for those who don’t care?

    Diana

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