Which brands help people work their way out of poverty?

Posted on 22 Mar 2011 in Support Ethical | 3 comments

Share via Facebook Share via Twitter Share via email Share via...

Today I heard about an inspiring organisation through Robin (a connection on LinkedIn) who is a communications expert with a whole load of experience working with well respected ethical brands.

The organisation is called IDE, International Development Enterprises and has been around for 30 years. Here is their website.

In their own words “IDE is a social enterprise dedicated to ending poverty in the developing world not through handouts, but by helping farm families access the tools and knowledge they need to increase their income.”

There are a billion farmers around the world working in small-scale agriculture. IDE has helped 19 million people in this situation work their way out of poverty by investing in their operations, so they can scale up production and access food markets.

Some brands are also committed to working responsibly with producers abroad to bring us products that we want and at the same time help people out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods.

In this way, food connects us all.

Which brings me to a question – I’m curious to know, which brands do you like / admire for their commitment to helping producers abroad?

Here are a couple of tasty high scorers from the Good Shopping Guide to start us off:



Share via Facebook Share via Twitter Share via email Share via...


  1. Raoul / March 23rd, 2011 9:24

    Unfortunately, it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff as many companies market themselves as helping the poor or being ethical producers to consumers but in reality they may do the opposite.

    The only company that I know of who I think works ethically in poorer nations is Body Shop.

    We live in a world portrayed by Adam Smith’s book “North: South” – countries that produce commodities are being squeezed by market forces and large firms who exploit them. It is only when these countries produce giants like JBS of Brazil which is the world’s largest beef producer will this landscape change.


  2. Nicola / March 23rd, 2011 19:43

    That’s the exciting thing about the digital age, we can now ask the questions directly to the companies we buy from. It’s only when consumers start to pile on the pressure and ask the right questions, that we will sort the wheat from the chaff. Everyone has much more power than they think. Get asking.


  3. Ruth / March 24th, 2011 11:59

    Yes, how do we separate “the wheat from the chaff?”
    It’s a good question – a lot of companies get up to what we call “fig-leaving,” which is basically covering up your naughty behaviour with marketing that looks ethical!

    There are some great examples of fig-leafing out there… ;-)

    What ideas have you got about how we can put pressure on companies to do better?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *