True Price and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiatives have released a series of reports on the True Price of commodities in an area of production. The investigation allowed for interesting comparison of external costs between sectors. By making the external costs visible for stakeholders, it is possible to identify interventions that might reduce external costs.
The Tea study shows that the majority of external costs of conventional tea cultivation comes from social costs (79%), of which 29% are due to underpayment of hired and family workers. The external cost of tea cultivation from smallholders involved in a Farmer Field School (FFS) program is about 29% lower than that of conventional tea. 40% of this change is due to higher productivity. There are also demonstrably higher wages, less accidents and reduced fertilizer use on FFS farms.
There are two kinds of companies: those that sell sustainable products... and those that will...