Dr. Bronner's announces move to fair trade, organic ingredients

ESCONDIDO, Calif. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has announced that by December 2007 all major ingredients in its soaps will come from certified fair trade and organic sources.

Over the course of the 2006-2007 period, the company has reorganized how it sources its major raw materials, including organic coconut, palm and olive oil. They account for more than 95 percent of its raw material purchases.

In addition, the company has outlined the following fair trade program:

  • It purchases all major materials directly from sources that provide collective power to growers and workers and are good partners in implementing community development products.
  • It guarantees farmers a price, which covers cost of production and a decent return, even when market prices collapse, with an organic premium paid on top. Pricing is transparent to farmers and payments will be on time.
  • It ensures that fair wages are paid to farm and factory workers, the rules of the International Labor Organization on worker representation and work hours are followed, and physical working conditions are more comfortable.
  • It pays an extra Fair Trade premium, 10 percent of the price of materials and labor. Depending on local needs, the premium either goes directly to growers to improve their income or into a fund for local development projects such as education, day care and health care programs; sanitation improvement; organic fertilizer provisions to small growers; and funding for small businesses.
  • For ongoing inspection and certification of its program, the company is engaging the Swiss organic certifying organization IMO. Concurrently, it is working with the Fair Trade Labeling Organization to develop product specific standards for its major materials.