Cape Town - As consumers become more discerning, all aspects of systems in the supply chain need to be accountable, according to Arianna Baldo, executive director of Fairtrade SA.
That is why sustainable and ethical certification is paying dividends.
“Fairtrade exists because consumers want to purchase products that solve the world’s problems, not add to them,” Baldo said at the Sustainable Brands Conference in Cape Town.
Fairtrade certifies agricultural supply chains worldwide through the independent auditing company Flocert. Fairtrade regards itself as a global leader in the certification in the coffee, cocoa and sugar commodity sectors.
There is growing consumer pressure in the higher LSM groups in South Africa about knowing where their products come from and how they are produced, according to Yashvir Maharaj, of B2B Insights Survey.
“When you do the right thing it comes at a price, but there is a growing trend among young people who actively make ethical choices about the products they support,” explained Jonathan Robinson, director of Fairtrade certified Bean There Coffee.
For Andre Nel of Pick n Pay there is a shift happening in South African society from products being business driven to being community driven.
"We need to focus our efforts through social media awareness on why ethical and sustainable certification is important,” said Nel.