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Belgians sceptical about ethical labels

11:31 02/05/2013

While ‘ethical buying’, which takes into account environmental aspects, fair trade and the respect for the rights of workers, is well established in Belgium, a large number of consumers remain sceptical about fairtrade and sustainable labels. Less than half of consumers believe their purchasing of ethically sound products has any influence on the behaviour of companies, according to a survey by Test-Achats. Nine in 10 respondents say they sometimes talk about ethical and environmental issues with family or friends, while eight out of 10 have bought organic products over the past year and six in 10 have bought fairtrade products. Three out of 10 respondents make a point of regularly buying ethical products on moral grounds, though fairtrade (49%) and environmentally friendly products (63%) are often considered too expensive. Three in 10 consider the fairtrade label to be a marketing ploy and four in 10 feel the same about eco-friendly products. Less than 65% believe that Corporate Social Responsibility was devised by big companies. Scepticism about fairtrade and sustainable products is mainly due to the lack of transparency and information provided by businesses to consumers, according to Test-Achats.

Written by The Bulletin