Update. November 2013

Shop Ethical! NEW & UPDATED

The Shop Ethical! app now includes clothing data.

See how your favourite fashion labels are responding to issues such as Uzbek cotton, building safety in Bangladesh, water pollution, and paying a living wage. For more on fashion, check out the Fair@Square festival's 6 pop-up fair fashion shows held over this weekend (30th Nov, 1st Dec) in Melbourne.

The 2014 Shop Ethical! supermarket pocket-guide is hot off the press, with updated ownership and assessment information drawing from over 150 sources. Give one (or two) to friends and family this Christmas. A sure-fire way to help in changing our world for the better - one good choice at a time!. Available at ethical.org.au/shop and selected bookstores nationally.

See our stockists.

Ethical Christmas Guide

Santa is back... with goodies! This resource is full of practical (and fun!) ideas for reducing your footprint during the festive season and helping you really make your dollar count this Christmas.

> Ethical Christmas Guide

Also check out a fantastic new ethical gift service - Checking it Twice - more great ideas.

Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2013

Palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil, found in products from ice cream to soap. Its production can devastate the environment. But it doesn't have to. WWF have released their third Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard assessing 130 companies on their efforts to use sustainable palm oil (RSPO certified). Some are making progress - while others are seriously lagging.

There is simply no longer any excuse for companies not to take action on this issue. We're mindful that there are limitations and criticisms of the RSPO. See this great article on these and why palm oil is in so many products. > More on palm oil and positive steps you can take.

  Modern-day Slavery ...  

The recent Bloomberg news story 'Christmas without Slavery' (26/11/13) highlights how workers who manufacture the newest tablets, phones, cameras, and electronics commonly become indentured servants, only a step removed from slavery. Stories here.

The Walk Free Foundation's Global Slavery Index, published last month, provides a ranking of 162 countries around the world on the estimated prevalence of slavery. Find out more about the face of slavery in Australia at Anti-Slavery Australia.

GM wheat trials

The office of the gene technology regulator has given approval for a field trial of genetically modified wheat in western Victoria (12/11/13). The Safe Food Foundation with scientific experts have indicated that they believe there are major gaps in CSIRO’s risk assessment testing leading to potential life-threatening consequences. See press conference video and No Appetite for GM Wheat paper. > Sign the petition to Ban GM Wheat trials in Oz.

In other Agribusiness news, US farmers warn ADM's GrainCorp takeover could hurt competition in Australian agriculture (19/11/13) . If the sale of GrainCorp goes ahead, there be five ports Australian-owed and 14 held by foreign companies. See article and map at ABC FactCheck.

What are the bosses being paid?

Chief executives of the top 100 ASX listed companies earned 67 times the national average in 2012.

Of particular interest (in the light of the recent leaking of ABC pay amounts), is Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, who earned a whopping $24,790,000 in 2012, a somewhat significant 409 times the amount earned by the average News Corp employee. See other global comparisons at CEO Pay in perspective.

The Swiss are proposing a maximum ratio of 12:1 (bosses to average), and ACTU 10:1.

More at ACSI's CEO Pay in the Top 200 Companies: 2012 paper and The Conversation (6/13).

Quick bites ...  
  • Detox from the Shop. International Buy Nothing Day is here - Saturday 30th November!
  • Plant your vegies.Tomatoes, zucchinis, cucmbers and more. Get them in the ground. Find out what to plant when at Gardenate.com
  • Congratulations to the AFSA & friends for successful crowd-funding for their 'Just Food' project - a documentary about our farmers and a fairer food system. See promo vid.
  • The Food and Grocery Council has agreed to a voluntary code with Coles and Woolworths which will govern supply chain relationships (18/11/13, ABC).
  • Specialty Fashion Group has bought Rivers for $5m (28/11/13, Ragtrader).
  • Rivers has pledged to avoid Uzbek Cotton after a 3 year campaign by Stop the Traffik.
  • The Agri-Food XX 2013 conference with the theme of 'Resistance, Resilience and Security' runs from December 2nd - 5th in Melbourne. More
  • The Sustainable Living Festival is on again this coming February in Melbourne. Applications for events, exhibitors and voluteering are now being accepted.
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