The world of business and commerce has undergone so many changes in recent decades. Besides supply chains becoming truly global, there has also been a growing movement inside the commercial world that calls for ethical trade practices to become the required standard that all companies live by. It started mostly with fringe groups who struggled to compete with the low (but unethical) prices of big corporate giants, but public outcry over business ethics has been amplified by social media, and now even the big players are listening.
Ethical wholesale trade matters for many reasons. Whether it’s the wholesale trade of ethically sourced kava roots, or cocoa beans, coffee, tea, and other commodities produced for use in food, drink, health supplements and more, it’s all the same – ethical trade matters, and here’s why:
1. It Promotes Human Rights
Just because you source from places where a poorer economy lowers prices doesn’t mean you automatically pay peanuts to the people who are producing those commodities. It also doesn’t mean you have to pay them what you’d pay a local vendor. Economies are different, that’s a reality, but there is still a fair price one can pay locally that means local producers can advance themselves, expand and improve their lot. Commerce and fair trade is the lifeblood of economic growth and personal advancement.
2. It Promotes Sustainability
A big part of ethical sourcing isn’t just ensuring that the livelihoods of hardworking producers is preserved, but also the fate of the environment in which those products are made. When ethics is the name of the game, producers of various commodities that we want don’t have to cut corners to try and widen profit margins, but instead can focus on keeping things sustainable and less impacting on the local environment. This reduces environmental degradation in the countries from which we source the commodities, which promotes a higher standard of living, and a greater resilience to detrimental natural impacts like soil erosion, for example.
3. It’s What People Want
There is research and data out there to prove that people care about corporate ethics. Some 88 percent of consumers in countries like the US can be convinced to boycott a product if they learn that the brand has shown unethical business practices in sourcing or other business activities.
About 87 percent of that same demographic say they will buy products based on whether they can be shown to have social or environmental benefits. Even 35 percent said that they would stop buying brands that showed themselves as unethical, even when no apparent substitute was available.
4. It Reduces Risk and Promotes New Business
The first three elements that we mentioned above all contribute to a further benefit, which is that ethical and sustainable wholesaling are a highly effective measure for risk reduction. Sustainable production means a steady supply chain, as do content producers of your particular commodity. At the same time, following high ethical standards can become an integral part of your overall brand which attracts new and affluent customers.
There’s one more way that ethical and sustainable wholesaling lowers risk, which is by helping to cut overheads (more below).
5. It Can Reduce Overheads
When business gets both ethical and sustainable, it uses energy-saving products and services to bring down utility costs, it cuts down on waste to reduce waste disposal expenses, and it streamlines production to be more efficient. In the long term, these can reduce costs by as much as 16 percent. That’s according to the World Economic Forum, at least.
Therefore, it’s easy to see the benefits of strong ethics in the world of wholesale trade, and beyond!