The growth of ethical products and services has been and continues to be, phenomenal. Only a couple of years ago who would have dreamed that a mainstream high street retailer would refocus its business around an ethical policy? Enter Marks & Spencer.
We're still a long way from this kind of transformation becoming the norm. Many businesses, especially supermarkets it seems, operate on the theory that what we really want is to pay as little as possible for their products and services. For many shoppers, that is obviously still true. But a growing number are realizing that the true cost of business as usual is unsustainable and are changing, sometimes radically, the way they shop.
People are now questioning the limitations of organic certification. Should it take account of more than the way a crop is grown? Incorporate criteria that acknowledge the need to move to more locally produced and distributed food?
In such a rapidly changing world, what are the issues facing ethical and would-be ethical companies ? What is the role for communication? And what type of communication should you be engaged in?