Human Rights and Your Shopping Basket

(18 Posts)
HmmThinkingAboutIt Wed 04-Jul-12 21:46:48

How important are human rights to you when you do your shopping?

Do you boycott certain brands - if so why those brands? (And maybe not others?) Can you afford to think about human rights when shopping?

And anything else you care to add...

jubilucket Wed 04-Jul-12 21:51:11

I've been on fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar since the 1980's when such things were very difficult to get hold of, and I've also never bought a not-free-range egg <proud>
I avoid Nestle although I can no longer remember why.
I use certain supermarkets rather than others more than avoid brands. Waitrose, Co-op and M&S seem to have generally higher ethical standards.

joanofarchitrave Wed 04-Jul-12 21:59:33

It's my replacement religion.

We shop at the Coop (and now I have a job, Waitrose) because of their business models and longer contracts with producers. Fairtrade for ex-slavery products but if grown/produced in Europe I will sometimes go for that instead as there's at least potential employment protection within the EU. Nestle boycott due to their apparently not yet fully revised attitude to flogging milk powder. We also get a veg box because of direct support to british farmers, plus although i don't care about organic from my point of view, I care that farmers have to work with fewer organophosphates. I get milk delivered because of a vague feeling that a dairy farmer is going to be in a better position vis a vis Dairy Crest than Tesco.

erm what else...

TheMysteryCat Wed 04-Jul-12 22:03:29

I try to buy fairtrade and UK produced food when I can afford it, but find it very hard to reconcile my ethics with my wallet!

I do always buy free range eggs, I'm a vegetarian and won't allow meat in my house unless it's from the local butchers.

I actively boycott Nestle,Pepsi and Coca-Cola. I also boycott McDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc - but that's for animal cruelty more than human rights issues (in the main)

I also use Waitrose because it's very easy to see where the food comes from on their packaging, if it's a fruit or veg.

I check ingredients all the time and am becoming increasingly frustrated by the rise in the use of palm oil in practically everything.

jubilucket nestle are the vile tossers that market formula in third world countries in the most repugnant ways. See here: BabyMilkAction

jubilucket Wed 04-Jul-12 22:11:48

Are Nestle STILL at it? It's depressing, I can remember campaigning about it in student days. I've been busy campaigning about other things since, and disappeared almost completely during the ddtwins most time-consuming stage.

joanofarchitrave Wed 04-Jul-12 22:15:46

Yes I find it hard to separate my 'human rights' decisions from my 'ecological' decisions - for me the two bleed into each other.

free range eggs, yes
no Primark
really try not to internet shop as i worry about the funding of local authority services once the high streets are empty...

TheMysteryCat Wed 04-Jul-12 22:21:40

i think that the ecological choices have an impact on HR though, because buying in a more sustainable way gives future generations the possibility of a better quality of life. It also promotes buying locally, and using local resources which could help to boost local economies and have an impact on jobs, wages and working conditions for millions of people.

So much of our food is manufactured in multiple locations around the world for miniscule sums of money, but is of worse quality than something you can buy down the road from a local producer.

Eggs are an easy one to look out for. I live in a rural area and there are countless people who sell their own eggs - at markets, car boot sales, from their front door etc and the quality is always good. the price: about 80p for a half dozen.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 04-Jul-12 22:27:28

I hate all things Fairtrade so never buy them - the coffee being particularly vile

Didin't think you could get anything but free range eggs now so have them.

No to Primark - but as much because their stuff is rubbish and did point out to my daughter that being able to get 10 pairs of knickers for 50p means some kid will have been explotied somewhere! (but Primark won't be the only people guilty of this)

And I do shop and banklots on the internet to avoid some of the horrilbe surley useless sales assistants in some of our shops and banks.

jubilucket Wed 04-Jul-12 22:43:48

I drink tea, DP drinks coffee. He's tried quite a few different Fair Trade brands - way back when I first started, there were only a couple available, Traidcraft and Another One (Clipper?) Now there are loads! It's like everything else amothersplace, some are better than others and to a certain extent you get what you pay for. Lidl's ownbrand Fair Trade tea was like sweepings, it was so bad I just couldn't drink it, and DP said the coffee was in the same league. And I'd been so chuffed to hear Lidl had joined in...
DP is currently on Black and Beyond, from Percol, it's sort of instant espresso, and I quite like it when I do occasionally have coffee.
I'm drinking Waitrose Gold, as neither Clipper nor Tea Direct are on special this month.
The upside of internet shopping, no traipsing 15 miles there and 15 back again to go to the nearest decent size town, with associated carbon footprint and skyrocketing parking charges.
The downside - dead high streets.

joanofarchitrave Wed 04-Jul-12 22:48:22

Yes I have to say my stance re high street shopping is rendered fairly meaningless because i live so close to said high street.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 04-Jul-12 22:50:14

This may be too broad a definition of human rights, but as well as the standard free range/fairtrade/no primark etc I have been veggie for most of my life and am now vegan

Animal welfare arguments aside it takes a hell of a lot of land to feed animals for us to eat, land that could be used for feeding people...

joanofarchitrave Wed 04-Jul-12 22:59:37

Yes true itsall.

DH and I had a try at cutting out meat a little while ago (my third go). My difficulty was that I was cutting out e.g. Welsh-raised lamb for imported tofu and beans. It didn't actually seem like much of an ecological/community gain to me.

EclecticShock Wed 04-Jul-12 23:00:35

Interesting thread, I do pay attention to it but equally, I have to keep an eye on budget. Plus it can be difficult to avoid Nestlé and unilever. I try to buy local.

jubilucket Wed 04-Jul-12 23:03:42

On the other hand the pastoral landscape of England is built on traditional land-use. The natural state of much of the country is either swamp or woodland. I rather enjoy eating the excess male lambs from the local rolling downland. The only way to cultivate it is with enormous amounts of chemical fertilizers, and ploughing does irretrievable damage to the archaeology.

LurkingAndLearningForNow Wed 04-Jul-12 23:13:16

We buy ALL our skin/haircare needs online and organically, avoid palm oil and all of these brands:

www.ethical.org.au/

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 04-Jul-12 23:16:11

Thats't the problem with buying ethically F there so many factors to consider:

The sustainability of the product itself
Animal welfare issues
Worker welfare issues
Is the parent company ethical
How are the goods transported...

HmmThinkingAboutIt Thu 05-Jul-12 09:01:34

DH is far better at this than me and if I'm honest he's more into it than me. He started doing at university.

We don't stick to just Fair Trade products, but try and buy products that have ethical companies (eg Yorkshire Tea by Taylors of Harrogate) if we have a choice. We try and buy local and British where we can, and I refuse to buy Israeli products (fruit veg, motorola), Nestle isn't allowed in the house (but we could do better on this as we didn't realise Haagen Daas were Nestle until recently), No L'oreal (or Body Shop since they got bought out).

But we could do a lot better, especially with regard to clothing and white goods. DH has an Apple macbook which he needs for his work (as in genuinely needs - hes a computer developer). I still refuse to buy Nike, but if I'm honest I've no idea if they are still doing the same things they were. We still buy stuff made in China etc.

So I don't think we are great and I'd like to do more, but trying to find out stuff, keep up to date with it, and practise it over everything is difficult. And price definitely does come into it.

Honestly? Not really. I have a vague feeling that I ought to consider such things, but most of the time cost and speed are the deciding factors in my shopping decisions.

I buy free-range eggs, now that the price has come down a long way, but didn't back when they were way more expensive. I try to buy in-season vegetables rather than things which have been "forced" or imported long distances (neither of those are really about human rights of course).

And I buy freetrade coffee and sugar, so long as they are at a decent price - I don't mind there being a mark-up for the decent trading standards, but honestly I can't spend a lot more on something just to ease my conscience.

I tend not to buy from the cheapest clothes shops anyway, but that's more about buying fewer good quality things that will last, rather than about the way their factories operate.

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