Fairtrade: Just another fad or the future for business?
Published 4 September 2008
25th September 2008, 10.30-2.30
Lancaster University Management School
In the face of increasing consumer pressure and media campaigns, North West businesses are placing more and more emphasis on ensuring their suppliers are following ethical practices, such as avoiding products made using child labour or those that are damaging the environment.
Last year Lancaster University earned recognition as a ‘Fairtrade’ organisation, offering Fairtrade goods widely across campus. The City of Lancaster achieved Fairtrade town status in 2004 and Garstang was a North West pioneer having been a Fairtrade town since 2001.
Recently, local hotel company Mitchell’s went Fairtrade, and Lancaster-based Atkinson’s Coffee has over seven different coffees in its Fairtrade range. Many other businesses are considering the benefits of flaunting their ethics and going ethical.
Carole Howorth, leading academic and specialist in family and ethical businesses says: "For some businesses, sourcing goods ethically is fundamental to the way they do business. Others recognise that it provides them with a competitive advantage, or offers a mark of quality that connects with their customers. But for many it is just one of lots of priorities that have to be juggled when running a business."
With all the talk of recession and the credit crunch, just how deep do our new-found ethical values go?
Lancaster University Management School will be bringing together the practical expertise of business owners, researchers and campaigners for a special business forum on Ethical sourcing. The day will focus on the many complex issues around finding and using Fairtrade products and suppliers, and is likely to be particularly relevant to those working within the food, drink and hospitality sector.
Whether you are a hotel offering Fairtrade coffee and tea, a retailer selling organic or local produce, or are considering switching to less damaging raw materials in your factory, then the free Ethical Sourcing Business Forum on the 25th September is a 'must attend' event for you.
The forum will offer a chance to network with local businesses, and there will be experts on hand to answer your questions, besides lots of lively debate. Refreshments will be provided and Fairtrade products will be available to try. And you will be able to dip into a Fairtrade chocolate fountain!
If you would like to attend, please let us know by emailing us at: email@example.com or by calling Kim Ashby on 01524 510713.
This event is funded by the Lancaster University Friends Programme and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development based within the Management School.
- Information on Fairtrade see the Fairtrade Foundation
- Press release on Lancaster University’s Fairtrade status
- Information on ethical consumerism and the rise of ethical business
- Background on how businesses are becoming good citizens see Business in the Community
- North West BITC award winners