We’re in the midst of a major shift in the way consumers think about their purchases. As we gain greater access to information about where and how things are made, expectations are on the rise.
In the past, it was enough to talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR). But now, much more is required to secure people’s trust: Companies must demonstrate genuine accountability, and their actions must be able to withstand scrutiny.
It’s no longer adequate to put a policy on your website. You must be able to back it up with tangible actions and traceable results.
For some companies, these rising expectations pose a significant challenge. Of course that’s not necessarily because there’s a desire to conceal unethical practices. In large part, it’s simply a radically different way of thinking about one’s obligations to suppliers and to customers.
But for Ten Thousand Villages and other organizations that are dedicated to living out the values of Fair Trade, it’s a somewhat different story.
Transparency and accountability are in our DNA.
It’s who we are, and these business practices are the basis of everything we do.
- We’re proud to talk about the direct relationships we foster with our artisan partners.
- We enjoy showing off the unique products that result from our commitment to selling culturally authentic items in the North American market.
- And most importantly, we love to share how Fair Trade values and practices promote dignity and sustainability.
Fair Trade organizations believe in fostering trading relationships in which the benefits are shared with the talented people who produce the products we use and consume each day.
Ultimately, Fair Trade is just business. But business done very differently.
A number of people have volunteered to blog about their adventures in Fair Trade. We’ll cover a wide range of topics that span the full spectrum from educational to practical, serious to whimsical.
I hope you’ll join us as we share our stories. If you’re interested in hearing more, please subscribe by email or RSS.