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Mainstreaming ethical consumption: challenges, opportunities & risks



Ethical Consumer’s annual conference takes place in London on Friday September 25th and will focus on the key issue of how the ethical market can move from its current backstreet niche and break into the mainstream high street.

To help answer this question which is central to the future of the ethical economy, Ethical Consumer has assembled a line-up of speakers from across the UK’s ethical community including leading campaigners and activists together with some of the most cutting-edge ethical companies in the country.

Launched in 1989 Ethical Consumer is the UK’s leading ethical and environmental magazine. In each issue Ethical Consumer examines the ethical and environmental record of the companies behind everyday products and services from bread to banks. For more information visit the Ethical Consumer website:

Tim Hunt, co-director of Ethical Consumer said: “This year’s conference will bring together leaders in their field to help develop current thinking on how producers, retailers and consumers all need to evolve to meet the demands and challenges of the mainstream market.”

Among the speakers will be representatives from the UK’s leading ethical accreditation organisations including the Fairtrade Foundation, Fair Tax Mark and Forest Stewardship Council who will be examining both the benefits and value of ethical labelling.

These themes are especially relevant given the fallout following the recent BBC revelations into conditions of workers on Rainforest Alliance accredited tea plantations in India.

Plus there will also speakers from Divine Chocolate, Suma Wholefoods and Triodos Bank on strategies that will allow ethical companies to move into the mainstream without compromising their ethical roots.

As well as providing a snapshot on the state of the ethical market, the conference will be hosting workshops on today’s burning ethical issues including the ethics in the age of austerity, whether or not to buy or boycott palm oil and the challenges and opportunities for reducing consumption.

Tim Hunt, co-director of Ethical Consumer said: “Ethical Consumer’s annual conferences are being increasing acknowledged as an unmissable event for anyone who has an interest in championing a more ethical approach to consumption.”