Our products may be certified, like Fairtrade or GOTS, or they may not. We care more for the ethics and motivation of the producer than for the label. A certificate is nice, to be sure, but it’s no guarantee. Just look around you, our society is full of protocols and certificates. And they get violated all the time.
On a small scale, let's say, unclean eating houses which have sanitary certificates. And on a large scale, like banks messing everything up despite their Fitch ratings and their codes of conduct.
A certificate is no guarantee. They can claim unannounced checks, independent authorities, etc. as much as they like. It's just no guarantee. In some ways, a system of certification even encourages corruption and abuse.
This doesn’t mean that a certificate is useless. But you can't trust it blindly, either.
Trust and open eyes
We prefer to work with people and organisations that we do trust. Because we know them and we know their ways of doing business. Because the ethics are their own, their choices are their own. Because they want to make a Fair product. We are not the only ones who think that things like human life, animal welfare and the environment are important.
So we work with those who are of a like mind. If they have a certificate, that’s great. But openness and transparency are more important.
We do the best we can, but we are not perfect
We don't claim to be perfect, and we can't expect perfection from our producers. Perfection is impossible, anyway. But the only way to learn and to get better, is by acknowledging mistakes. And making mistakes is inevitable. Shocking, we know, our society would rather eliminate all uncertainties. But that's an illusion.
A mistake is not necessarily a bad thing. So long as there is openness and willingness to fix things, there is no problem. We can only try our best and learn from our mistakes. Because in this world of complex problems there is no ideal solution or quick-fix.
So we do the very best we can. And that way, together with others, we get better and better at Making the Fair Way.