Assuring Consumer Confidence in Ethical Trade

ISO’s Consumer Policy Committee established the “Ethical Trade Fact-finding Process” (ETFP) in May 2007, with the aim of understanding the nature and extent of inaccurate or false ‘ethical’ claims, as a step towards developing solutions to any problems identified in order to build consumer confidence.

OneWorldStandards worked with The Pacific Institute to review and analyse 180 articles, studies and reports relating to a broad range of ‘environmental’ and ‘social’ claims. The outcome was a report based on a comprehensive review of the facts, in so far as they were known, rather than on unsupported assertions, anecdotes and assumptions.

A major outcome of the report was the broad recognition of the complexity of the sector, the potential validity of a range of approaches, and the need to avoid simplistic assertions that some approaches were necessarily ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than others.

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    "Matthew understands the nature and complexity of our sector whilst bringing the view from the standards world. I appreciated the dialogue: I expressed what I think I need and Matthew figured it out and made it better. I learned a lot in the process, and the findings have really helped us to gain clarity on the way forward." – Jian-hua Meng, WWF