web analytics

Aussies mull ethical market signal

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, June 27th, 2010 - 7 comments
Categories: Environment, workers' rights - Tags:

The Aussies are currently investigating the creation of an ethical quality mark which would be provided to products from supply chains free of labour, environment and animal exploitation.

The recommendation is:

A new Australian Ethical Quality Mark should be devised, with a budget allocation of $8 million, to reflect the incorporation of defined ethical standards relating to labour conditions, animal welfare and environmental sustainability in TCF production and supply chains. This will enhance consumer choice and confer competitive advantage on firms that achieve certification.

Of course nobody ever shopped their way to a revolution but any move that helps ameliorate the impact of capitalism on the vulnerable is a good idea.

It’s also an idea that New Zealand should adopt when (if?) the Australians do because, while environmentally friendly products are getting easier to find, it’s becoming harder and harder to find labour-friendly stuff – especially since the demise of the superb No Sweat store.

7 comments on “Aussies mull ethical market signal”

  1. hellonearthis 1

    Nice, that would help hi-light product that our 40c/hr prisoners are making.

  2. Croc 2

    Interesting that Australian Ethical Investment screens out 90% of the Australian market. It really goes to show how bad the situation is.

    I would of course support a new labeling system as long as it is strict enough to maintain its credibility. Other “green” labeling systems such as MSC have become increasingly dubious over the years as they change the rules to include products that are very clearly not “green” or sweat shop free.

  3. Bill 3

    Maybe a label that signifies ‘less’ (not ‘no’) exploitation of labour and the environment and animals is a good thing for the conscience of the ‘better off’ shopper.

    But who gets to administer the regime that determines the eligibility of a particular product or service?

    And how would it square with the likes of child labour in India where the alternative is utter destitution?

    And why should capitalism get to save face and middle class consumers get to feel good about themselves? What exactly is there that is ethical about capitalism? Whatisface’s film…Moore…’Capitalism: A Love Story’.

    Hated the analysis, despised the conclusion although I can see how it might appeal better to a less politicised, less engaged audience than a straight up class/gender/race analysis.

    Anyway, according to Moore, capitalism is evil.

    And it would seem that the ethical label thingy might agree with that take on matters while it seeks to suggest that ‘No. Capitalism is not necessarily evil. Capitalism can be a force for good with happy workers and smiling animals and twittering birds in the breeze and…a veritable Wonka chocolate factory fantasy.

    Why not get down to basics and legislate that goods must be of a grade and standard that eliminates inbuilt obsolescence?

    That way, all workers are potentially exploited less as consumer goods cease having to be endlessly remanufactured…(fewer working hours, more leisure time?) : the environment gets less of a hammering as it becomes unnecessary to continually mine, drill, fell or slaughter it for new raw materials for industrial processes that merely satisfy a manufactured consumer demand. And I’m not suggesting such a move would be ethical, just bloody good for all concerned….except the share holder and the socio-pathic seeker of profit. But then, we’re not too concerned about them, are we?

    • A Post With Me In It 3.1

      Anyway, according to Moore, capitalism is evil
      I would say his position would be more along the lines of “unchecked capatalism leads almost always to evil”.
      To which I would whole heartedly agree and there are so many examples of this that it does not even beg mentioning.
      In the US that is effectively what they have more or less so of course things will be skewed towards the evil side. In NZ it would be less so.

      But straw men burn better….

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Whatever you might think his position is, he states again and again that Capitalism is evil. Not that the management of it leads to unfortunate, unintended and evil consequences.

        All that aside. What’s with the ‘straw men burn better’ nonsense?

        Moore’s ‘evil’ prognosis is only brought up by me in relation to this idea of ‘ethical’ consumerism. Doesn’t ‘ethical’ signpost an acceptance of a good/evil dichotomy?

        That I don’t buy into the ‘evil’ argument ’cause it’s inadequate as an analysis and disempowering with regards citizens looking to do something about this fucking mess we’re in, means that the window dressing of ‘ethical’ consumption should be challenged, seen for what it is and something more effective and meaningful proposed.

        Which is what I tried to do.

        • A Post With Me In It 3.1.1.1

          I think trying to resolve anything complex to absolutes is stupid. Most of the time the people doing this are simply trying to make a problem/topic simple enough for pea brains to handle without steam coming out their ears, rather than actually believing it is that simple.

          MM does this quite often and I agree that he does tend to use hyperbole a lot. I have yet to find anyone that does not believe that capitalism is useful in certain circumstances. I am sure they exist but I have not met one. I very much doubt he is one of these.

          The philosophy of ethics covers the concept of morality and thus is related to good and evil. It also includes (in)justice and being humane. Of course they are related but they are not the same.
          You may be undergoing inhumane testing on animals but for an overall greater good. This is an ethical dilemma and has little to do with good vs evil although someone like PETA may invoke the words a lot when discussing it.

          At any rate. Evil is an terribly emotive word and is unfit for rational public discussion. It is also not true in the case of capitalism. It is ignorance, selfishness and arrogance that cause the harm, not evil.

          There are evil capitalists, but capitalism is not inherently evil. 🙂

  4. MrSmith 4

    This is a great idea, I like many am sick of buying cheap crap made in China, so I now buy anything but, most goods made in Germany last and you can have them repaired mostly.

    Remember there used to be businesses everywhere employing people repairing and reconditioning things, you can hardly even get your shoes repaired these days , now all we do is use it once and then off to the dump,landfill,incinerator with it “what a waste”.

    So yes this could fly, good regulation is good for everybody, set a standard, instead of whoring ourselves to China and the like, as we have been doing for to long.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Road deaths lower in 2019, but still more work to do
    “As we enter the new decade, my thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the 353 people who lost their lives in road crashes last year. While the number of deaths is lower than in 2018 (377), this is still a staggering loss of life,” Duty Minister Iain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago