Food and Nutrition, Health, Wellness

What Does “Ethically Sourced” Mean?

As awareness has grown among consumers over the years, many have started to wonder whether the products they purchase are substantially produced, built, or grown according to ethical standards. As a result, the demand for ethically sourced products has significantly increased. But what does “ethically sourced” actually mean? As the name of the process suggests, the phrase has its roots in ethical values.

What is Ethically Sourcing?

Ethical sourcing is the process of adopting sustainable and reliable methods during the manufacturing of a product. The chief purpose is to ensure that said product has been obtained in a responsible manner. Furthermore, a set of appropriate labor law standards means that workers were paid fairly, worked in a safe and hygienic environment, and were treated equally without any discrimination. Ethical sourcing also means that various social and environmental impacts are efficiently considered during the sourcing process. The main idea behind this principle is to guarantee that everyone receives good quality products at reasonable prices (Roberts, 2003).

The Importance of Ethically Sourcing

With the passage of time, a prominent shift towards company transparency has occured. Demands for the implementation of effective, ethically-sourced processes in manufacturing are rapidly growing. Furthermore, globalization has greatly influenced consumers to become proactively aware of the impacts of production process. Some companies may adopt poor ethical practices to cut their expenses, but these decisions can progressively lead to significant loss in terms of product quality, reduced sales, and customer satisfaction.

Why Ethically Sourcing Should be Practiced?

The most evident consequence of adopting ethical sourcing methods is the obtaining of a clear conscience. This ethical aspect can constructively influence and motivate workers, thereby promoting loyalty. Furthermore, introducing ethical sourcing in a business can promote smarter business tactics. It’s great to see customers concerned about the products that they are buying. There are also many investors who are especially interested in investing in ethical companies as ethical production continues to evolve.

There are several reasons for any factory or organization to take crucial steps towards ethical production and sourcing. These decisions can mitigate expected risks, secure their brand image, gain customers satisfaction, improve overall sales, and still effectively minimize their operating costs (Barrientos, 2012).

The concept of ethical sourcing in any business sector provides great advantages. These measures offer numerous opportunities for businesses, whereby they can attain a prominent status by gaining the attention of specific target audiences. By building loyalty amongst a customer base, ethical companies can gain a significant marketing advantage over their competitors.


  • Barrientos, S. (2012). Ethical sourcing in the global food system: Taylor & Francis.
  • Roberts, S. J. J. o. b. e. (2003). Supply chain specific? Understanding the patchy success of ethical sourcing initiatives. 44(2), 159-170.