Sabará highlighted that while the concept of ethical supply is usually only related to the social part of it, it is also crucial for companies to communicate and work closely with their stakeholders.
“To be successful when supplying ingredients from biodiversity, with all its complexities as well as preservation responsibilities and legal aspects, together with the need to be competitive on quality and pricing and of course being profitable, it is necessary for a company to be transparent with its stakeholders at all stages,” he said.
“In order to ensure the perpetuation of relationships built, a high level of fairness is required. Everybody has to be sat down on the same side of the table as partners, even consumers.”
Biggest ethical sourcing challenge is change in mindset
Sabará underlined that there are numerous challenges related to ethical sourcing, with the changes in mindset that are required in this business approach being the most important.
Examples of this include the real need for forecasting when dealing with seasonal products, botanical challenges and taking into account the work of local people, he said.
“The industry has a big role when it comes to involving and being involved in different ‘worlds’, lifestyles and scenarios”, he said, explaining that “a seed collected by an indigenous worker in the Amazon that is transformed into an active to be part of the formulation of a product sold on Champs-Elysee or Fifth Avenue has travelled a long way, not only in distance but in the complexity of the whole process.”
Communicating ethical sourcing strategies
When it comes to communicating the involvement of a business in ethical sourcing, this can vary from company to company according to their particular communication strategy, said Sabará, although he said that in order for consumers to trust that sustainability claims are true and effective, it is vital that they are involved, educated and knowledgeable of the whole process.
Beraca and its partners have developed calculations of the positive impact of its work on people and the Amazon rainforest, said Sabará, so that when a customer buys from Beraca, they have knowledge and figures concerning the preservation and social enhancement impact the finished product will have in order to pass this on to consumers.