If you are starting up your own ethical business and want to source local and Fair Trade products, it is not always obvious how to gain access to the most suitable trademark to represent your business model.
Ham & Jam coffee shop, located in Preston town centre is a local independently run business that sources all local produce and Fair Trade products. Richard Lowthian, the owner of Ham & Jam is very passionate about supporting local merchants, Lancashire produce and British produce. He says, “We firmly believe in supporting ‘local’ suppliers and this sentiment is our overall business philosophy,”
He added, “We are trying to build a reputation around sourcing good quality local fresh produce, which our customers are really excited about as they use the same suppliers as we do.”
Sourcing local and fresh produce can be more expensive, but if you are looking to run an ethical business, it is important to promote these suppliers and it builds a relationship between you and the local area. Richard said: “It’s about helping each other in terms of smaller businesses.
“My suppliers can tell us the back story about a certain products we purchase.” He added.
Richard Lowthian’s advice for independent businesses: “The learning curve that were on at the moment, we need to have a better marketing strategy. Increasing the exposer of all the local suppliers we use, as customers really respond to that.”
Watch Ethical Enterprise’s interview with Richard Lowthian:
Video: Louise Busfield/YouTube
How do you source local suppliers and gain their support?
Who are they? – Depending on your business, these local suppliers could be butchers, fruit and vegetable produce, Fairtrade coffee suppliers, printers and beauty products.
As long as you have prepared a suitable marketing strategy and all of your plans are in place you can approach local suppliers and explain your business plan and ideals.
Make a deal with them and make sure to promote their business as well as yours. If you promise them great exposer your relationship will grow and will benefit both of your future business endeavours.
Do your research and make sure to locate those who also have ethical approaches in mind. This will bring you more credibility.