Leveraging 'People' Power of Sustainability
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At the beginning of this year global leaders assembled at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Summit held at Davos, to ponder upon the theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World". The theme itself was quite symbolic. There is a growing realisation that there are certainly dysfunctions around. Dysfunctions, that thrives on anomalies. So, before it is too late the 'fractured world' needs to be mended.
To some, the above may look like a distant macroscopic discussion not so close to their day-today realities. Interestingly, a recent WEF (2018) report rightly notes, "most citizens evaluate their respective countries’ economic progress not by published GDP growth statistics but by changes in their households’ standard of living — a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses income, employment opportunity, economic security, and quality of life".
An inclusive growth and mending of the ‘fractured world’ will only happen when most (if not all) Governments, businesses, organisations and individuals work towards that direction.
Now, let’s talk business and share a simple case and one of our experiences of introducing Organic Darjeeling Tea (one of the finest produces in the world) in Australia.
Darjeeling tea is a restricted commodity and is highly regulated by the Government of India. It is a rare, coveted and exotically flavoured tea that is grown only in Darjeeling, India and cannot be grown, manufactured or replicated anywhere else in the world. The unique agro-climatic condition of the region contributes to its distinctive flavour and aroma. Darjeeling is the only tea growing region globally which has 80% of her plantations certified organic- meaning, in the production process that include harvesting, fertilising, weeding, pruning, soil conservation, control of pests and diseases, no chemicals are used (Banerjee, 2015). These premium quality teas are all harvested and nurtured by hand to guarantee that the leaf is whole, undamaged and the natural flavour and aroma is well intact and the produce is good for health, environment as well as community. This means this industry is one of the most human intensive industries, a contributor to the local employment, income and environment protection.
“Darjeeling Tea” is registered as Geographical Indicator (GI) under the Indian Law. “Darjeeling (Word & logo)” are registered in Australia as the “Certification Mark”, which is a strong Intellectual Property in Australia. However, according to the official sources, each year, around 10 million kg of tea are grown in 87 tea gardens spread over 17,500 hectares of land but over 40 million Kg teas are sold worldwide as Darjeeling.
Such unethical practices negatively impact the business cycle, reduce the genuine demand of the commodity, lower prices of the tea thus negatively impacting the profitability of the tea gardens which in turn directly impacts the wages, livelihood and social sustainability of the garden workers. On the other hand, it also denies the consumers to enjoy authentic produces which is good for their health.
As an Australian company, we are not only enabling to make these rare produces available for the local consumers, but also contributing to the local economy (by generating works, engaging with other businesses to operate) as well.
Finally, would like to recollect what Prof. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum recently said, “Our collective inability to secure inclusive growth and preserve our scarce resources puts multiple global systems at risk simultaneously. Our first response must be to develop new models for cooperation that are not based on narrow interests but on the destiny of humanity as a whole”.
Goodness is global. Let’s talk business!
Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those by the contributors alone and do not represent the views of any other organisation, the forum moderator or that of Aei4eiA.
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Dr. Jayantee Mukherjee Saha