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page 36 Conference+Meetings WorldMarch 2011CSRchocolate are likely to becomeincreasingly scarce and expensive as climate change kicks in. Surely ittherefore makes sense to use ethicalsources if we hope to continue supplying tea to our delegates foranother 50 years.In essence, Fairtrade is an organisedsocial movement and market-basedapproach that aims to help producers indeveloping countries make better tradingconditions and promote sustainability.What, therefore, should you look for in a Fairtrade supplier? Attributes couldinclude: decent wage policies, healthyworking environment like hygienic toilets,recreational facilities, fresh air and cleanwater and reasonable working shifts.These are all taken for granted here inthe UK but are considered luxuries formany. The employer must also ensurethat the workers have additionalemployee benefits such as staff holidays. Here at Nexus, we are very consciousabout employees' rights to such anextent that we recently invested overUS$200,000 in a Fairtrade factory inChina, making it (we believe) the world'sfirst ethical manufacturing facility forconference bags. Above all, the factory isdesigned to ensure the highest level ofworking conditions to its employees. As apart of our recent developments, the newfactory and offices are fully airconditioned using an environmentallyresponsible eco-water cooling system andhave modern recreational facilities. In acountry, where employees live on site(often only returning home once peryear) we have provided brand new staffquarters with eco-friendly hot watersupply using solar power and havecreated a homely feel - rather than theusual "bunk-house" style ofaccommodation. The staff canteen hasbeen completely refurbished into a staffrestaurant. These facilities have set newstandards for Chinese workers in thetextile sector along with higher wages,staff bonus schemes and additional staffholidays. We have even organisedthemed parties and upgraded the foodchoices in the restaurant to ensure allcultural tastes are catered for and whichthe staff enjoys. We believe that the industry mustbecome more CSR focused - thegroundwork has been laid but there isstill a long way to go and we intend tobe a part of that process.Fairtrade is not just a marketing buzzword, but a pre-requisite for ethicalbusiness practices in the 21st century. It is our moral responsibility to respecthuman rights and care for our planet.We need to ensure that our partners andsuppliers in the developing world adoptFairtrade practices and provide goodworking conditions and welfare measuresfor employees. While it is great toconsume cheaper products, it is alsoimperative to ensure that the productsare not made at the cost of human livesand the environment. "Fairtrade is not just a marketing buzz word," says Nick JonesNexus' China headquarters has modern recreational facilities

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