If only fair trade

If only …………

Like most of us, I sometimes wonder what the future has in store for our industry. And to which extent we can and do influence what’s in store. This inevitably leads to – at least for me – thoughts or maybe even dreams about the ideal conditions for our industry to prepare itself for the next generation. The “If only…..” dreams. The wishes we hope will come true.

Of course we have lots of different wishes; collectively, individually. Practical ones and utopian ones. But wishes all the same.

To mention one that is in the top-5 of my list: trading fairly. Although only slow progress seems to be made on a global scale, the thoughts and ideas behind it are getting a foothold in among others the human food industry. Certainly the multinational operators start to pay (more) attention to this phenomenon. With Nestlé and Unilever taking a leading role.

Fair TradeNot only for altruistic reasons; there are strong economic ones as well. Because after all, shareholders need to be pleased. So if Fair Trade (or any other initiative that provides a better livelihood for those at the start of the food chain) finds its adherence in the human food industry, can it do the same in the pet food industry? Or is this too far-fetched? Because the effects are too minimalistic; because the sourcing for the our industry is totally different from the one for the human food industry; because Fair Trade cannot apply to the kind of ingredients that are commonly used for pet foods?

All questions to which I cannot even pretend to have the answer. Maybe somebody else does. But the fact remains that it is my dream to not only contribute to what is best for the animal, but simultaneously improve the fragile balance between people, planet and profit. And trading fairly looks to me to be one of the ways, but certainly not the only one, to achieve this.

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