4 ways that make sustainable supply chain due diligence an opportunity, not a threat

As you might have read in our earlier posts, due diligence as an expected approach is quite clearly described in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. Coming from the Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Proposal, much focus over the course of 2022 has been on the importance of due diligence to ‘avoid risk’ and ‘take responsibility’. But don’t forget, it creates positive business opportunities too. The supply chain is a key impact area if you want to be a sustainable business as your supply chain is where much of your environmental and social impact lies. The so called ‘scope 3 impact’.

Here’s 4 ways in which due diligence offers a lever of positive change for your business – from information to collaboration:

 

1. Due diligence gets you focused

Due diligence offers an opportunity to learn about all material and production processes that are connected to your business. In short: it helps you to better understand the business you are in and how you can improve your business model. You can’t focus on all supply chains and raw materials in the same capacity. And you don’t have to. It’s important to think about the level of connection you have with a supply chain and the level of sustainability risks. The European Due Diligence Directive proposal underlines high risks sectors such as textile, agriculture, and minerals. To identify how you are linked to risks in the supply chain you can make use of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct (The Terrace has created a simplified version) emphasizes the importance to understand ways in which you can “cause” or “contribute to” sustainability impacts by you as a business or if you they are “directly linked” to your operations, products, or services by a business relationship. At The Terrace we develop sustainability ‘Risk scans’, based on key social and environmental topics, commodities, and sourcing regions, to keep into account.

For example, Volkswagen AG gathers first-tier supplier data, prioritizes human rights and 16 high-risk raw materials in their due diligence process.

 

2. Due diligence creates data

Due diligence offers an opportunity to gather – and make use of – supply chain and supplier-level data. As there is a high chance your business is already involved in international production chains, it can be empowering to better understand it and use it to improve your products and/or processes. A relatively easy step to take is to use supplier questionnaires. Many examples and templates out there for you to use, for instance by B Lab or Ecovadis. Questionnaires most easily reach your 1st tier suppliers, further down the chain it might be more complex and often communication stays one-sided. Additionally, technology (providers) can make supply chain communication and collaboration more two-sided, where upstream suppliers are active participants and gain insight too. Farmforce is an example of a farmer engagement app, to gather data right from the first mile of food production. Sourcemap offers a network that connects you to suppliers and sub suppliers. Provenance offers blockchain technology to track commodities from its source.

For example, the Thank My Farmer app is used by different retailers and makes use of blockchain to show consumers where coffee beans come from and lets them make direct contributions to farmers.

 

3. Due diligence builds supplier partnership

A lot of due diligence data comes from your suppliers. Instead of making it a one-directional and ‘top down’ effort, see due diligence as a collaborative effort where you set up engagement around different sustainability topics based on mutual needs. You might have a lot of suppliers overall, which is why companies such as Marsdecided to work with less. We see companies such as Walmart specifically focusing on leveraging these partnerships to improve sustainability, such as Project Gigaton to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions. Next to sending a supplier questionnaire, think of setting up a shared workshop about diversity in the workplace. In this line we see businesses learn from their suppliers, and vice versa.

For example, Girls who Grind build long-term working relationships with the women who supply them with beans. By working closely together, the women on both ends learned about the unfair distribution of wealth along the coffee chain. And they decided to tackle it, together.

 

4. Due diligence builds industry collaboration

Collaborate with others in your industry on key due diligence topics. Building more radically connected supply chains and gathering insights makes little sense when every company keeps it to their own. As in reality, no supply chain functions in isolation. Due diligence is an opportunity to collaborate pre-competitively and build better supply chains. Independent multistakeholder platforms have a huge role to play in harmonizing due diligence by companies and defining synergies. The Global Coffee Platform, The Organic Cotton Accelerator, and Sustainable Natural Rubber Platform, are examples of efforts that try to unite due diligence data.

For example, a coalition of cocoa companies specifically welcomed due diligence for their industry and provided direction for key criteria and focus areas in the context of cocoa in this position paper. This offers a great route forward for all companies involved in cocoa, and similar smallholder commodities.

 

By sharing our take on how due diligence offers a lever of positive change for your business, we hope to have given you some positive ways to start or improve your supply chain due diligence. Do you want to get more insight in how this could work for you and your supply chain? Feel free to drop us a line.


Interview with Antoine Heuty from Ulula

As part of our supply chain due diligence theme months, we interviewed Antoine Heuty, the founder and CEO of Ulula, a Canadian social enterprise (B Corp) offering a digital human rights impact management platform to help organisations taking responsibility along their supply chains.

In today's interview, Antoine provides us with insights into Ulula as a way to leverage due diligence in supply chains.

 

1. Can you tell us more about Ulula and how you accelerate positive change?

Workers are at the core of our supply chains; yet they are often unheard and invisible-which leads to abuses with an estimated 27.6 million people suffering in forced labor conditions. Ulula - a certified B-corp- leverages mobile phones to engage with workers directly and anonymously to create more human and resilient supply chains.  We support organizations through a suite of digital human rights due diligence solutions enabling them to get direct feedback from workers and community members in real-time in order to identify problems, manage risks and engage stakeholders as key actors of the remediation process.

We have reached close to two million people in over 40 countries from small scale miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo to mega factories in China and palm oil plantations in Malaysia to construction workers in the Gulf.

We use technology to empower workers to get greater agency by enabling them to report on their actual working conditions or by offering safe and inclusive grievances and mechanisms. Technology offers access to all workers irrespective of their language and access to smartphones -we do a lot of work through voice and simple phones- and turns feedback into alerts and analytics creating more transparency and impetus for effective remedy.

 

2. What has been/are the greatest challenges users of Ulula face when (starting to) engage in supply chain due diligence?

Ulula offers a practical way to engage workers and communities across global supply chains. While this aligns with core requirements of recent mandatory human rights due diligence regulation, engaging the discussion around human rights is not easy for workers and organizations alike.

Building worker trust is the most important success factor. We have built Ulula to ensure strong privacy and worker protection. We also make sure workers can access the tool in their preferred language and use communication channels they are comfortable with -including offline. Being clear about who will be able to see anonymized data or who will receive their grievance is instrumental to building trust. Sharing the results of worker surveys builds greater transparency and creates more confidence. Involving worker representatives and independent third parties also plays a key role in building worker and remedy centered grievance mechanisms.

Organizations sometimes feel quite defensive about what they will find out when they really start listening to workers: will that open a floodgate of complaints? How will they manage? It is often important to clarify that using more effective worker engagement technology does not create labor and human rights problems; it merely helps uncover them more systematically and early. Corporate users typically uncover issues previously ignored -which offers an opportunity to engage supply chain actors to redress and prevent them. We help organizations tailor the tools so they also meet their needs and make sure we can advise them to manage cases so they can use the feedback and data they collect for action.

 

3. Do you have an illustrative example of how a company “identifies, prevents and manages supply chain impacts” with Ulula? How is information gathered?

Last year, Ulula worked with a large cosmetic brand in South Asia as it faced serious concerns of abuse towards “beauty agents”  contracted by third party labor agencies and working in their stores. Ulula designed a worker survey to help identify the root causes of the problem with questions around harassment, working hours, overtime, pay, access to grievance mechanism and workplace satisfaction. We deployed the survey amongst beauty agents in their local language via phone call (using pre-recorded automated messages) or WhatsApp text message. We reached close to 80% of the workforce enabling the identification of various abuses in the workplace and providing specific metrics  accessible on digital dashboards for engaging dialogue with labor agencies and other actors. We are also following up with periodic surveys to assess improvements from the workers’ perspective.

 

4. On impacts on the environment, employees, and society, are there specific topics or supply chain areas that companies should definitely include in their due diligence? (Maybe because they are more often overlooked?)

The selection of topics depends on the material issues specific to each sector and company. Rather than looking for the subjects that may be overlooked, it seems important to align due diligence efforts not only to what matters to stakeholders - i.e. salient issues for workers and communities- but also to areas where companies are determined to make a positive change. To be sure, companies have to take proactive action to identify and address negative impacts such as forced labor or harassment in the workplace. They also need to consider how they can create positive impacts on the planet and people and make sure they have robust systems to make sure the impact is real.

 

5. Next to working with Ulula, what can companies do in terms of creating a positive impact through due diligence, e.g., ways of supply chain engagement?

Irrespective of the particular set of tools a company decides to use to conduct human rights due diligence, the new regulatory paradigm is creating an impetus for turning policies into action. An increasing number of companies have robust and comprehensive human rights policies in place; but the implementation gap remains large and may even grow as the bar raises with new mandatory due diligence requirements.

Taking meaningful action for positive impact  requires engaging in dialogue with workers and communities on a more continuous and systematic basis. More bottom up approaches can empower workers and communities to become agents of change. Listening to stakeholders can and probably should take multiple forms -from face to face to virtual and technology-enabled options.

 

6. Do you have one final tip for companies working on supply chain due diligence?

Link due diligence to the purpose of your company - not a tick-the box exercise. It will help transform due diligence in a learning and dialogue process with your internal and external stakeholders and will help create shared value for all stakeholders.


Meet the positive change maker: Emmely Jurrius

1. What made you decide to join Team Terrace?

I've been involved with sustainability in my personal life and as a volunteer for a climate organization for quite a few years, but since having children I felt an even stronger drive to make more impact. The Terrace is a mission-first company, with interesting and challenging clients, has a proven track record, a bold attitude and is on its way towards a clear dot on the horizon. When I saw they were looking for a designer, I didn’t hesitate for a second to apply.

 

2. What did you do before joining the team?

I studied Linguistics, I have an academic Masters in Editing and a few years ago I decided to dive into the books again to become a designer. I’ve worked at The Royal Concertgebouw for ten years, as a marketing and communications specialist and in the past years as their first in-house designer. Since 2019 I am an active volunteer and board member for Stichting KlimaatGesprekken (based on the British Carbon Conversations). This organization trains climate coaches and gives workshops on decreasing (carbon) footprint, but mainly focuses on increasing handprint, i.e., how to connect to others in constructive ‘climate conversations’ and inspire them to live more sustainable.

 

3. What kind of sustainability challenges do you personally care about most?

My personal interest mainly lies in the psychological and anthropological side of sustainability, specifically the issue of how society can be moved in a constructive and non-judgmental way to see a sustainable, climate-friendly way of life as the new normal. To see the advantages of making ‘green’ choices instead of perceiving it as a ‘must’. I think there is a huge responsibility and a wonderful chance on making positive change for companies that choose to actively use their impact on their employees, company policy and therewith society for this.

 

4. What kind of sustainability solutions for which type of clients would you like to work for at The Terrace?

I feel inspired by companies that dare to challenge and give responsibility on sustainability innovations to their employees, and managements that are outspoken on their beliefs, not afraid to make bold choices and dare to look at themselves in the mirror. I feel that The Terrace’s clients all have their own strengths and personal drives to be aiming for positive change in a way that fits their profile. I Iove to challenge my creativity to help our clients in all different sectors finding the best way communicating this. Art and design have an incredible power that can undoubtedly be the key to bringing about positive change.

 

5. What would you like to learn at The Terrace?

I would like to learn what different challenges companies face in their quest for a more sustainable way of shaping and running their business. What drives them, what solutions have they already thought of or found, and what can we help them with? I also think I have a lot to learn on the technical side of sustainability solutions, and I hope to gain a lot of this knowledge ‘on the job’.

 

6. What means positive change for you?

To me change is positive when it connects people and creates a fairer, more sustainable world in an open and respectful way. I believe that it is in everyone’s benefit if we learn to really listen to each other, keep challenging each other in a positive way to do better, respecting our differences and embracing similarities. I am convinced that there always is a common ground or shared intrinsic value to be found, that with the right guidance will be the driving force to create positive change.


Meet the positive change maker: Floris van Neer

1. What made you decide to join Team Terrace? 

The Terrace is an organization that shares my ideals and my beliefs: that a better tomorrow is possible. The whole team is on the same mission and that motivates me to give my best every day. I also like the way TT works: focusing on both strategy and communication is a clever and effective way in bringing about positive change. There are still a lot of companies struggling with the concept of sustainability. Helping them to formulate their own sustainability strategy with clear and concise communication is – I believe – the way to go.

2. What did you do before joining the team? 

I obtained a bachelor's in Global Sustainability Science (GSS) at the University of Utrecht and gained a joint master’s degree in Metropolitan Analysis, Design & Engineering (MADE) at the TU Delft and Wageningen University & Research. Hereafter I worked at a global multi-disciplinary sustainability consultancy for a while and also worked as a consultant for an urban planning bureau.  

3. What kind of sustainability challenges do you personally care about most? 

I would like to make sustainability tangible for everyone in a company. A lot of employees feel that sustainability targets within a company are set out by a handful of people at the top level. Hence, these goals often feel like a must instead of a want. However, when the values of employees are explored you realize these are often already aligned with the goals as set out by the board – they are just formulated differently. Effectively measuring waste streams translates to, among other things, less food waste, and carbon reduction targets lead to more carpooling and increased usage of public transport. Sustainability is often a win-win situation! 

4. What kind of sustainability solutions for which type of clients would you like to work for at The Terrace? 

Since I joined the Strategy Team of The Terrace, I will mainly focus on sustainability strategies (like ESG), sustainability reports (like B-Corp), and stakeholder engagement. 

5. What would you like to learn in becoming a sustainability consultant?

I would like to increase my network and my experience with a vast range of (sustainability) companies. This will enable me to connect these companies with each other and hence bring about even more positive change. 

6. What means positive change for you?  

I view positive change from a utilitarian point of view – acting to ensure that happiness and well-being for all affected individuals are maximized.


Meet the positive change maker: Deike Robotta

  1. What made you decide to join Team Terrace? 

I was always excited about the potentials of communication in changing consumer behavior. But on top, I was looking for a company that allowed me to combine my interest in communication with my passion for sustainability. At The Terrace, I am excited to have found this golden combination. From now on, I am looking forward to create positive change through effective communication, creativity and thought leadership at The Terrace. 

  1. What did you do before joining the team?

Before starting at The Terrace, I obtained my Master of Science in Consumer Marketing. To explore the opportunities of marketing beyond its commercial motives, I studied the role of sustainability in the context of business and specifically marketing. That is why I researched the topic of demarketing in the scope of my Master thesis. In addition, I took part in the sustainability honors program of my university. That program did not only make me excited to work in the field of sustainability but specifically in consultancy. Various consultancy projects, e.g. on businesses’ roads to carbon neutrality or on the potential of green hydrogen in the energy transition, showed me that every client case is a new challenge and opportunity to gain new knowledge and make a positive impact. By the way, the first time I heart from The Terrace was via this honors program.   

  1. What kind of sustainability challenges do you personally care about most?

With my background in marketing, I was always interested in the potentials of changing consumer behavior for the good. Most importantly, I challenge the idea that life satisfaction is a function of material consumption. Because in the end of the day, the only way for me to contribute to a sustainable future is by consuming more consciously and more circular overall. 

  1. What kind of projects for which type of clients would you like work on? 

At The Terrace I am looking forward to work on a variety of projects. For example, I have started working on projects for NGOs and highly purpose-driven businesses. Besides, I am curious to experience the differences between supporting a non- and for-profit client on their sustainability journey. Especially, I am excited to facilitate clients in overcoming the barrier of rising consumer skepticism with honest and creative story-telling.  

  1. What would you like to learn in becoming a sustainability consultant?

We all have heard the word sustainability. But what exactly does it mean and entail? Sustainability is a big word, and the greatest skill and challenge is to make sustainability less overwhelming for businesses and consumers. I hope to learn how to combine the power of communication and creativity to make the urgency for sustainability understandable and tangible for everyone. 

  1. What does positive change mean to you? 

For me, positive change is all about inspiring others to question and improve the current way of doing things. But change in the right direction only happens as a collective effort. Therefore, my goal is to take leadership and inspire others to contribute to changing our unsustainable systems.  


Leading or Misleading in product communications: Communicate clear and transparently

This blog part of the blogseries ‘Leading or Misleading’ on transparent product communications around  sustainability and health. Read its intro [here].

The key to marketing sustainable and healthy products is making the story informative, but still simple and preferred. But how do you provide transparency, whilst not overcomplicating things? What we’ve seen in the examples of the previous two blogs, is that brands or products that are perceived as ambiguous in their sustainable and health claims are losing credibility and consumer trust. On the other hand: brands or products that are perceived to be transparent and trustworthy are getting rewarded. For your transparent Leader communication, we are going to pay attention to two aspects: what you communicate and how.

What you communicate
We know the importance of context. After doing product research you should be aware of the good and the bad that comes along when buying your product. As a leader in product transparency, you want to communicate the entire story. This also means informing your consumers that there could be more to the product claim than meets the eye. If there are any challenges or problems, you want to address them. Study by Accenture shows that 62% of consumers want companies to stand up for the issues they care about. A leader in transparency sets goals for the product or brand for improvement on these issues. They provide a roadmap on how they want to achieve them, with regular updates on how things are progressing.

How you communicate
It might be difficult to share the entire product story on the packaging. Therefore, you need to make the story as accessible as possible. A way to do this is trying to direct the consumer to a place where they can find all the information they need to educate themselves. In order to stay on the same page with your consumers, they have to keep a clear understanding of the story you’re trying to tell. By understanding and researching your consumer, you have a good sense on the knowledge level about for example sustainability. Try to avoid jargon and technical terms if you know that the consumer is not familiar with this. Don’t forget that good communication is a two way channel: you should not only tell your story, but also listen to your consumers and try to understand them. Make sure your consumers can come to you when they have questions or doubts about the product. Even when you can’t solve the problem; consumers might be more forgiving when they know you listened.

Doing product communications right
Verstegen Spices & Sauces and Fairfood has found a great way to provide the entire story of nutmeg to the consumer. They use blockchain technology to make the production of the spice nutmeg completely transparent. The nutmeg has a QR code that brings you to a website that shares all information about the farmer, product, supplier, the brand and the consumer. The consumer can follow the entire journey of the spice and all agreements surrounding the product: from price fixing to quality claims. All they have to do is scan the QR code with their phone. We definitely recommend to check out their website.

Doing product communications wrong
Consequences of not researching properly can also be very expensive. For example, the Canada Competition Bureau fining the Canadian arm of Keurig Dr.Pepper Inc. US$2.37 million for misleading consumers on recyclability claims about its single-use coffee pods. Dr.Pepper tried to improve the circularity of their products, giving instructions on how to recycle correctly. However in this case Dr.Pepper did not look too much into the context of the product. The claims Dr.Pepper made were stated as inaccuratesince outside the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, most recycling programs don’t accept Dr.Pepper’s single-use coffee pods. They also did not mention the additional steps required by some recycled programs. Therefore, they misguided the uneducated consumer to think that the coffee pods could be easily recycled when only the tops were peeled off. Additional to the fine, they had to pay US$67,000 for the agency’s costs, donate US$630,981 to a Canadian environmental charity, and publish corrections online, in print, and on the packaging of its new brewing machines. In this case, the communication was there, however it was inaccurate due to the lack of research of context and consumer understanding of the claims. Dr Pepper simplified the context to such an extent that it was rendered false and resulted in a substantial fine.

After reading this 3-part series you should know a lot more on what to do, and what not to do when trying to be a leader in transparency for health and sustainability. Be critical when you go through each checklist to see how much of a leader you are. You might find that you’ve unknowingly been a misleader, and you’ll find aspects that you can still improve on to become a better brand with better claims. We can help you improve, just contact us.

Transparent product communications – a checklist

  • I communicate the entire story, placing my product in context.
  • Consumers have easy access to the entire story of my product.
  • I proactively share product values, and goals of improvement on today’s issues.
  • I communicate the roadmap on how we are planning to reach product goals, and share updates on things that are in progress
  • I actively try to avoid misinterpretation by avoiding technical terms or ambiguous claims.
  • I anticipate on the questions or doubts my consumers could have about my product.
  • I am being responsive to the questions or doubts my consumers can easily share.
  • I measure how satisfied my consumers are with the level of communication, and actively try to improve this.

Leading or Misleading in product communications: Familiarize with your consumer's way of thinking.

This blog is part of the blog series ‘Leading or Misleading’ on transparent product communications around sustainability and health. Read its intro here.

You know how many varieties of peanut butter there are available at your average supermarket? We eyeballed more than 20 varieties. According to one supermarket’s website we missed another 32. Consumers are faced with an overwhelming selection of products, each claiming to be the best one. But we do not want to spend hours on end in the grocery store, deciding which product is actually the best one. So, as a consumer we learn to conceptualize the world using mental shortcuts to make quicker, more efficient decisions.

Familiarize yourself with how the consumer makes assumptions
We make these mental shortcuts ourselves, sometimes unconsciously using inbuilt biases. For instance, deciding food is healthy because it’s labelled with “50% less fat”. We know too much fat is bad for us, so 50% less fat should be healthy. With some research, we find out that the claim less fat does not tell you anything about the nutritional quality, giving consumers a false sense about the product being healthy. What makes it even harder is the number of terms used in food products, and how many of them can be confused with others: “Low fat” is tended to be confused with “low calorie”, “organic” with “sustainable” and if not complicated enough: many people often relate “sustainable” products with the product also being “healthy”. The confusion happens because there is often no time or motivation to clearly research and understand what those terms really mean. Resulting that we go into the grocery store relying on the short-cuts that we’ve made ourselves.

Luckily, more people are more and more aware of the seriousness of global issues such as global warming, obesity, covid-19, etc. The advice consumers are given in making food choices such as “you should eat healthier”, and “you should know the impact of your daily choices” are all around. However, what is healthier? And what is the impact of my food product? We see that consumers want to choose responsibly, but find it too complex to do so, and therefore are requesting brands to help them.

Be aware of the risk of consumers overestimating your product
The consumer that wants to become healthier and/or consume with less impact are on the lookout for food products and brands that can help them succeed. It is important to understand that the less knowledgeable or less upfront motivated consumer will often categorize a product based upon the most noticeable claim or attribute of the product. The danger here is that it often results in overestimating the healthiness or sustainability aspect of a product. Research shows that this goes as far that when a company has a great image or reputation, such as Tony’s Chocolonely, consumers assume these companies also make “better” products in terms of healthiness and sustainability. This turns into a problem when consumers learn the truth about your product from other sources than your own brand. Consumers then continue to trust brands less to deliver on their promises, and they are quick to move on when disappointed. According to HAVAS’ meaningful brands report less than half (47%) of brands are seen as trustworthy, and only 34% of consumers think companies are transparent about their commitments. Ultimately, ensuring that you tell the complete story, whilst making sure that your consumer fully understands, will make the difference between being a leader and being a misleader.

Doing product communications wrong
An example of unknowingly misleading the consumer with easily misinterpreted attributes are the Veggie candies from Nicolette van Dam. If you look for Veggie candy, it’s the new vegan candy on the market made from vegetables and fruit. It comes in a box with vegetables on it, and it states to be 100% natural, rich in fiber, gluten-free, and only natural sugars. All words and visuals associated with the healthy food trends of today, which make the consumer categorize the product as healthy. So, is this a crime? No not really, the claims are technically correct and as Nicolette van Dam also states: “I never said it was healthy”. However, the claims on the product could cause a lot of confusion, as the short-cuts in consumer brains tells them that the product should be healthy with all those foodclaims and images. The reality is, Veggie candies still contains 7 grams of sugar per 15 grams of candy. Yes, the sugars are natural, however our body does not see any difference between natural or added sugar. The natural claim should not automatically trigger the short cut of the product being healthy, but it most often does. The consumer now assumes Veggie Candy is healthy, because Veggie Candy gave a lot of room for the consumer to misinterpret their claims. The result: Veggie Candy was rewarded with “Het Gouden Windei”, an accolade for the most misleading food item of the year. A lot of consumers now feel deceived. The feeling of deception amongst consumers has been researched to have a negative relationship with future purchase intentions, trust, consumer loyalty and overall attitude towards the product and brand.

Doing product communications right
Back in 2007, Innocent made the same mistake of misleading their consumers. The advertising watchdogs made complaints about the ad of Superfoods Smoothie: a blend of pomegranates, blueberries and acai berries, that had a detoxifying effect and contained more antioxidants than five average portions of fruit and vegetables. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the ad needed to be taken down due to lack of truthfulness, substantiation, and medical and scientific claims. For Innocent, there was only one way out: say sorry and become completely transparent. Fast forward to 2022, we can now read their honest story on the bottle. Innocent is now much more careful in how their claims can be interpreted. For instance, they avoid the claim ‘a great source of vitamin C’. This claim can cause consumers to overestimate the healthiness of the product. Instead, Innocent tells the consumer “It’s a source of Vitamin C, which contributes to the normal function of your immune system”. Also, on the bottle they recommend that the consumer should not mainly go to the smoothie for fruit and vegetable intake but that they should enjoy the smoothie as part of a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. By adding this, Innocent puts their product in context and shares this in a way that is not easily misinterpreted. This builds consumer’s trust.

Now we know that context and consumer perception are important to research when you want to become a leader in transparency. If you do, you have all the information needed to start communicating as a leader in transparency. In the 3rd and last part of this rubric you can read about how to tell the product’s entire story (the good and the bad) but still make sure that it’s simple, digestible, and accessible information for the consumer.

Know your consumer - a checklist

  • I am aware of the demographics of my consumers.
  • I am aware on the knowledge level of my consumers on sustainability and health
  • I understand the different ways my claims can be interpreted by the consumer.
  • I understand the way my product is perceived by consumers, and it’s in line with the true story.