up button image
Food Broker News

The Importance of Responsible Ingredient Sourcing

Responsible Ingredient Sourcing Is Key to Success

Food plate.

lobally, fisheries are removing fish from the ocean faster than they can reproduce. This overfishing is resulting in a situation where 90% of the predatory fish like tuna, sharks, marlin, and swordfish are already gone! This is due to unsustainable fishing practices and unethical behavior by fisheries. And this is just one part of the global food industry.

If you are trying to source raw materials for your organization, then you will want to choose ethical ingredient sourcing. This way, you can effect positive changes in the food industry.

Keep reading to find out more about sustainable sourcing to get quality ingredients for your organization.

Fair Treatment and Payment of Labor and Worker Safety

This is the primary concern when it comes to sustainable sourcing. Unfortunately, there are lots of instances throughout the food industry of manufacturers picking cheaper ingredients to boost profits. But not paying attention to the labor conditions of where these "cheaper" ingredients come from.

Remember someone, somewhere down the line has to pay for the ingredients in some shape or form. If it's not you, it's someone else. Mostly the migrant workers who are picking the ingredients, cleaning them, or farming them.

Not only are the workers toiling away in inhumane conditions at certain factories or farms, but they are also paid almost nothing for this enormous labor. For example, colonial-era wage policies are still in place in India. Because of this, some tea pickers are paid less than $2 a day for their efforts.

The consumer might be happy that they can get tea bags for cheap. But this is only because of the unfair treatment of tea pickers. Most of them are women and children.

That's another thing to keep in mind. A lot of this unfair treatment is showered upon minority groups or the weaker parts of society, women, children, and older folks.

It's terrible to think that we live in a world where we are willing to buy cheap tea or chocolate, not caring that it was picked by mistreated starving children.

Mars, Nestle, and Hershey pledged two decades ago that they would stop using cocoa harvested by children. But a lot of chocolate manufactured is still harvested by underage workers.

They were lured by the promise of going to school. And they end up working long hours without proper pay or food on cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast.

Increased Transparency of Where Ingredients Come From

The problem Mars, Nestle, and Hershey says is that they want to stop using cocoa harvested by children. But in most cases, they aren't sure where their ingredients come from. This is why it's so hard for them to stop using chocolate produced by child labor.

This might be considered merely an excuse since there are many fair-trade chocolate companies out there that will elaborate on where their ingredients come from. When thinking about sourcing ethical ingredients, it's important to focus on transparency as well. Every consumer should have a clear idea of where the ingredients in their food items come from.

For example, it should be clear to the consumer which egg farm their eggs came from and how the chickens were treated. It should also be clear which coast their salmon was fished from and what sustainable fishing practices were used.

Environmental and Social Impacts Need to Be Taken Into Account

A major reason why ethical ingredient sourcing matters is that we have a responsibility to future generations. We need to leave planet Earth in good condition for them.

But we are using up resources on the planet and producing toxic pollution as if we are the last ones who will be alive here.

Each ingredient in your food packaging should get sourced in a way that doesn't negatively impact the environment. For example, fisheries have to be careful not to overfish in certain areas. So that there are enough fish left over to reproduce for the next generation.

The Nestle Water Scandal is a good example of how not to do things. They are still siphoning off water from a national forest using an expired 1988 permit resulting in a massive public uproar and negative press.

Ethical Sourcing Doesn’t Negate Quality Ingredients

If manufacturers or food buyers get concerned that ethical ingredients equate to lower-quality ingredients, then that's a false misconception. A lot of fair trade ethically sourced ingredients are of higher quality.

Why? Because the farmers that practice these values take into consideration the environmental impact of their farming activities.

And don't worry about the additional cost of ethically sourced ingredients. 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for ethically sourced products, according to a recent survey.

This is because everyone understands the value of using sustainable ethically sourced ingredients in ensuring humanity as a whole is taken care of. Today's consumers are savvy shoppers, who use their wallets to make their choices clear. Be it through online shopping or offline.

If you don't use ethically sourced ingredients, soon you might have to contend with consumers not purchasing your products and favoring other more sustainable brands.

Ethical and Sustainable Ingredient Sourcing Matters

Ethical ingredient sourcing shouldn't be a one-off or a nice-to-have. It should be the norm of the food industry. Or at least that's what a lot of consumers are demanding, both with their voices and their wallets.

If you are having a hard time finding ethically sourced ingredients for your manufacturing processes, contact It's All Goods today. We are a food broker who can help you find quality ingredients at a feasible cost.

Sustainable sourcing is the way of the future, so it's better to get on board now rather than later.

May 5, 2023