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Ethical shopping


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#1 jessie123

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

Reading the thread about milk made me think about shopping habits.

Do you worry about where your food comes from?

Do you boycott any companies or refuse to buy certain products?

#2 RedBob

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Yep, I always buy branded milk and try as much as possible to buy branded food from supermarkets rather than own brand. But I'm lucky in that I have enough disposable income to do this. So many people don't have that luxury.

I also refuse to buy products made in Israel or buy from shops that support the Israeli state, as one very small way of supporting the Palestinian people.

#3 lylac

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

I do worry about where our food comes from.
We don't have a lot of money so sometimes we have to compromise.
I won't buy tinned pineapple grown in Indonesia, when it grows right here in QLD.
I think it's important to read labels.

#4 Fright bat

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

As one of the advocates of ethical shopping in that thread - absolutely!!!

www.ethical.org.au


I would rather do without (and have done without) rather than consume anything that hurts people. I will eat a block of Fairtrade chocolate every month (at $10/block) than buy one a week, and support an industry which still uses slave labour, including child slaves - for example.

When corners are cut to make the end price cheap for us, someone else is suffering. I don't think that's fair. Especially since most of the things most unethically made are not essentials, or are essentials that can be purchased in lower quantities. Other people should not suffer for my indulgence. And if we all did that, companies would be forced to change.



#5 Fright bat

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

QUOTE (lylac @ 20/01/2013, 08:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do worry about where our food comes from.
We don't have a lot of money so sometimes we have to compromise.
I won't buy tinned pineapple grown in Indonesia, when it grows right here in QLD.
I think it's important to read labels.



Locally made is not always best.

With apologies to anyone who is a rice farmer - who the hell thought it would be a good idea to grow rice in a desert country?! I will not buy Australian rice - I'd much rather buy it from places with sufficient water to grow it, especially as even with the environmental cost of transport, it is better to buy rice from overseas.

#6 unicorn

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

I try to be an ethical shopper, choosing free range over the less savoury options, locally owned and grown, minimal packaging, that sort of thing. I think one of the big issues in our society is over consumption, and when buying anything I am mindful if this and try to reduce the quantities of what I buy.

#7 Apageintime

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

I won't buy from any of the companies that test on animals, or are owned by a company that tests on animals.

I've Very limited in cosmetics and cleaning products, but it's worth it for me.

#8 ZCE

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

It's something i am definitely moving towards in my shopping. I don't have the budget to buy absolutely everything 100% ethically but i am slowly shuffling our budget around to make room for the more expensive items.

I boycott sanitarium and nestle.

I do most of my shopping at aldi, farmers markets and independant butchers.

I don't buy cheap milk.

I buy farm eggs that i am 100% sure are free range.

I try to buy local product.




#9 SlightlyLeftFeral

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

Thanks to the milk thread I have now downloaded the ethical shopper app.

I always bought branded milk, free range eggs and chicken etc. Oh and didn't buy from Gloria Jeans. Now I have more information at hand and look forward to using it.

#10 icekool

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

QUOTE (jessie123 @ 20/01/2013, 08:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you worry about where your food comes from?

Do you boycott any companies or refuse to buy certain products?


Yes I do but there is little I can do about it. There is no organic store near me and everything on the packet says - local and imported ingredients. It isn't helpful but I can't buy anything elsewhere. I suck at growing stuff and can't own cattle or poultry.

Yes, I do kinda boycott Steggles. The ads say "no added hormones". Yea, that is great but they have MSG! 621

#11 jessie123

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

Chicken and eggs is a funny one.

According to the ethical guide they only give the tick to inglewood farm chicken and cleavers organic chicken.

The lilydale brand which is so prevalent at the supermarkets  gets a big X.

I do buy the Inglewood whole chickens on occasion but they are $$$.

Of course the guide is just a guide.

#12 whipmix

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

What is the app called?

#13 noonehere

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

yes we do, aussie branded milk, cheese, local bakery bread, "clean" food, local butchers, free range eggs and chicken, recycled toilet paper, green cleaners (we use earth brand)

we try to support local as much as possible but being low income means we sometimes have to buy store branded flour etc. i refuse to buy anything but devondale and A2 dairy though.

im also giving ago at growing our own salad vegies and some fruit

#14 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

I try to.

I buy free range eggs and Aussie milk and dairy. I shop mostly at my local IGA, but there are times when I have to go to the big two to get stuff, especially the cat litter.

I don't buy any products that are tested on animals although I do eat meat out free range and have been lessening our consumption.

I do the best I can within my budget.

Edited by Sunnycat, 20 January 2013 - 08:13 PM.


#15 noi'mnot

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

I try to make the ethical choice, but it isn't always easy. I do the best I can, with the information I've got, and what I can afford. We go without all sorts of things on these principles, but not without essentials.

For example, regarding what PP said about Lilydale chicken - they don't get good ethical reports because they're owned by Baiada, which also has non-freerange chicken and a dodgy record with employee rights, amongst other things. So I can choose to buy a happier chicken, at the expense of those people who processed it. I'd rather do that than buy non-freerange chicken, but then I'd prefer to buy from one of the other companies that has a better record in all areas.

Ethical considerations when buying anything can cause big dilemmas - some locally grown/sourced/processed/manufactured goods are owned by overseas companies that do awful things to their workers.

Chocolate is particularly fraught - I only buy ethical chocolate but that doesn't only mean simply buying fairtrade chocolate - Green and Black's is a good example of a fair trade chocolate owned by a larger company (Kraft) which is guilty of all sorts of nasty sh*t, including selling stacks of non-fair trade chocolate!

#16 jessie123

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

I actually thought chocolate was an easy one!

But there is a lot of products that on the surface make you feel like its an ethical purchase but when you look into them they are a bit dubious.

#17 Niamh23

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

I always try to make ethical choices with my groceries, especially when it comes to animal welfare. I'm a vegetarian, but I make sure that I buy organic, free-range eggs. I don't understand how cage eggs are still allowed, it's disgusting.

#18 Jane Jetson

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

I try to. As others have said, it gets a bit difficult due to "ethical" brands being owned by non-ethical companies, etc. When I can figure out that I *should* be boycotting someone, I do - Pace Farms (yes, they do free range, but they also do the other sort), Lilydale etc.

I would also like to be able to figure out where clothing brands sit in terms of ethical behaviour. This isn't just as obvious as trying to boycott brands which exploit women and children in developing countries in terms of actually making the clothing; there are issues around how cotton is grown in countries such as Uzbekistan, and I don't want to support that.

#19 Feral_Pooks

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

I buy free range when I can. I buy products not tested on animals and local like the Organic Care range. I use a non-toxic cleaning product made from oranges for 90% of household cleaning and am trying to increase my use of reusable wipes, because we get though a silly amount of paper towel here. When I lived in the inner city it was easier to get to farmer's markets, delis and co-ops so I could buy bulk without packaging, but now that I live in the outer burbs there isn't as much choice. I am finding that now I have a baby it's a lot harder not to waste food than I ever imagined, although I do still try to have meal plans and shopping lists to reduce over-consumption and waste.

My biggest thing is probably buying second hand. I love second hand.

I'm also really good at reusing stuff. I get laughed at a lot for keeping wrappers, packaging, boxes, jars, tins, bits of wood, newspapers, broken furniture, all sorts of odd bits. But I find so much use for them. I am currently building a cat tree out of all sorts of bits and bobs, I have made DS toys out of old pillow cases, I use old tissue boxes to keep my cupboards organized, and I have old clothes and bedding stored beautifully in nappy boxes and thick plastic packaging which things like pillows often come in.

#20 HappyPhantom

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

Generally yes. I will boycott unethical companies, but I wont buy to support inefficient/under-performing/non-competitive products or industries.

I buy free range eggs, boycott Nestle, Gloria Jean and Apple, and buy fair trade coffee and chocolate. There are other companies I have boycotted for personal reasons. But on the whole, people I meet generally dont give a crap when I tell them what their hard-earned $$$ are supporting


#21 **Tiger*Feral**

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

I think most of what most people buy is not ethically produced. Food is relatively easy, it's everything else, in particular clothing, which is mostly produced off the back of slave labour in third world countries. So no, I don't think most of what we buy is ethically produced.

#22 zrello

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

I try & buy veggies grown in Australia, if I'm buying canned or frozen,  but its getting harder & harder.  Even at the fruit shop, there is so much out of season fruit that they import from Mexico & Spain, how can the farmers make any profit when I comes so far & they still sell it cheap? And the cheap nasty garlic from china? I thought they had to state where it comes from, but I don't think it's policed, the same with fish products, it's rare to see the country of origin, but when you compare the prices, there is no way it is Australian.   I am shocked at howsafeway &coles have reduced their ranges so much, so you can only get the own brand, select brand & maybe 1-2 others.  I wanted some of the Csiro cereal (balance? No idea what it's called).  They used to have three types, now just one.  All the cereals are just the Kellogg's & their own versions.  It takes longer to check each product, but a small effort makes a big difference.
Eta:I just re-read the topic, I think the amount of cheap rubbish & imported foods cannot possibly be ethically produced, therefore, I try & shop Australian made & grown, in the hope that our laws provide Some protection  for workers & farmers.  I am a huge fan of d*ck smith & think he has some wonderful campaigns to support Aussie farmers, no matter what aspects of him people don't agree with, he's using his public position to do some good & stand up for Australians. I will always buy his products if I have a choice, even if they cost more.

Edited by zrello, 20 January 2013 - 08:58 PM.


#23 ~sydblue~

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

We buy what we can, where we can. Sometimes we have the money and sometimes not.
I think for a lot of families it is the same.

#24 Feral_Pooks

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE (HappyPhantom @ 20/01/2013, 09:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Generally yes. I will boycott unethical companies, but I wont buy to support inefficient/under-performing/non-competitive products or industries.

I buy free range eggs, boycott Nestle, Gloria Jean and Apple, and buy fair trade coffee and chocolate. There are other companies I have boycotted for personal reasons. But on the whole, people I meet generally dont give a crap when I tell them what their hard-earned $$$ are supporting


I boycott Nestlé and Gloria Jean, can you tell me your reasons for Apple? (she asks tentatively from behind her iPad).

I agree on the clothing thing, unfortunately apart from buying second hand there isn't much more I can do on a low income. I looked at making my own, but guess where the affordable fabrics come from, too... But I do try to get second hand where I can, and I try to make my clothes really last, I know some people buy soooooo many clothes.

#25 Chelara

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (zrello @ 20/01/2013, 09:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I try & buy veggies grown in Australia, if I'm buying canned or frozen,  but its getting harder & harder.  Even at the fruit shop, there is so much out of season fruit that they import from Mexico & Spain, how can the farmers make any profit when I comes so far & they still sell it cheap? And the cheap nasty garlic from china? I thought they had to state where it comes from, but I don't think it's policed, the same with fish products, it's rare to see the country of origin, but when you compare the prices, there is no way it is Australian.   I am shocked at howsafeway &coles have reduced their ranges so much, so you can only get the own brand, select brand & maybe 1-2 others.  I wanted some of the Csiro cereal (balance? No idea what it's called).  They used to have three types, now just one.  All the cereals are just the Kellogg's & their own versions.  It takes longer to check each product, but a small effort makes a big difference.
Eta:I just re-read the topic, I think the amount of cheap rubbish & imported foods cannot possibly be ethically produced, therefore, I try & shop Australian made & grown, in the hope that our laws provide Some protection  for workers & farmers.  I am a huge fan of d*ck smith & think he has some wonderful campaigns to support Aussie farmers, no matter what aspects of him people don't agree with, he's using his public position to do some good & stand up for Australians. I will always buy his products if I have a choice, even if they cost more.

I agree with all of this and pretty much have the same stance. We only buy d*ck smith peanut butter and try to buy Australian as much as possible. I also use ethical.org.au as a guide.

I refuse to buy Chinese garlic and Chinese grown veg at all costs- Chinese snow peas from aldi anyone?? Sometimes lemons for example will be out of season and its a staple in my kitchen so I but it (the US ones) but I don't buy imported asparagus, cherries, grapes etc. I only buy fish from my local shop that sells only Australian nd nz seafood.

The food inc doco is currently available on sbs on demand. Worth watching.




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