Ethical labels not fit for purpose, report warns consumers

Ethical labels not fit for purpose, report warns consumers

Debates around the appropriateness of ethical labels and certifications have been around for a long time. Now a new report, ‘Not Fit for Purpose‘ has studied 40 global voluntary initiatives, including on-pack labelling schemes such as the Forest Stewardship Council and Fairtrade International to asses whether they have delivered on their promises. The findings are pretty damning, with the report warning that consumers “can’t rely” on the claims made by many ethical labels. The iSEAL Alliance, the umbrella body for ethical certification schemes, welcomed the findings, saying: “The available evidence shows that sustainability standards can and do have positive impacts on many sustainability outcomes.” However they highlight that for complex issues such as human rights, there are limits to how far sustainability standards can go on their own, pressing the need for partnerships to achieve the “scale and depth of impact needed”.

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