The EDB is putting together a set of procedures and criteria for ethical labeling, with plans to later set up an independent standards body. The EDB is putting together a set of procedures and criteria for ethical labeling, with plans to later set up an independent standards body. Export Development Board Chief Rohantha Athukorala said Sri Lanka cannot match the low prices achieved by countries like China, India and Brazil through economies of scale.
Sri Lanka however, could target other aspects of trade that influence market share, like ethically right and organically produced products, Athukorala said.
Ethical labeling will take into account gender equality in the work force, child labour, working conditions and counterfeiting.
Ethical labeling also helps the product to command a premium in the market, with global consumers paying at least a two percent premium of the fair practice.
Globally, coffee is one of the major benefactors of ethical labeling, with coffee makers resorting to the strategy to shore up prices in the mid 90s when oversupply shot down prices sharply, forcing growers to sell below cost.