Food nutrition labeling created a revolution in the food industry. We want to spark the same energy for change with the launch of the economic nutrition label.
One of the strongest influences an individual can have is through their personal spending decisions. We believe that most consumers want to make buying decisions that have a positive impact on ecology, the economy, and culture. But this is not a clear, well understood road. Information about where “there money goes” is most times not available and certainly not readily available at the point of purchase.
This complexity, along with a host of other contravening influences facing modern consumers (including convenience, limited disposable income, and access) has clouded the buying process. We no longer have clear definition of a dollar’s impact along the input chain.
Our economic nutrition labels are intended to bring transparency to where the money from your purchase goes – how it will be invested in the local community and how it impacts the broader economy. We think this kind of transparency is not only desirable, possible and long overdue; it is quite possibly the genesis of a positive and much awaited sea change.
The top section of the label breaks down the percentage of the purchase price as it is reinvested in input costs. These percentages are determined by calculating what percentage of the price Fogo Island Shop invests in each of these elements to make them ready for sale, from design and production through to delivery.
The bottom section of the label identifies the geographical distribution of the money you spend with us.
Note: these figures are unaudited, based on input costs incurred to date. These figures are subject to change and will be updated on an ongoing basis as our business develops.
We have made a strategic decision to invest “as local as possible” in all steps of our development process, in alignment with the sourcing model of all Shorefast Foundation projects.
We start with availability of inputs on Fogo Island from local suppliers. If not available, we then move to our closest communities on mainland Newfoundland, and then to other suppliers within the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. From there, we move to other suppliers in Canada, then North America, traditional International trading partners, followed by the rest of the World. And in each sourcing decision, purchases are only made from jurisdictions that abide by basic environmental and labour protection standards.
While cost effectiveness is an important consideration in our sourcing decisions, it is not the most important one. We put the greatest priority on finding partners who, like us, are deeply committed to the well-being of their communities. This creates ongoing dialogue in the supply chain about of what can be done to support the value for all. In turn, it fosters strong bonds and long-term relationships.
This practice of doing business with respectful and responsible partners that are mindful of a healthy balance between extraction and contribution follows the Foundation’s overarching objective of contributing to the creation of a global network of deeply local places. We are all part of a global economy. We believe it is possible for communities big and small to participate in this global economy in ways that allow them to retain a sense of local identity, dignity and well-being.
We are very excited about our economic nutrition innovation. We think we are among the first – maybe even the first – in the world to implement such an “economic nutrition” labeling protocol.
We are also excited about the potential this practice holds, not only for our business, but for others around the world looking to build a new economic system that offers a better balance between the return on economic capital and the health of diminishing sacred capital (natural, cultural, social, human, and physical capital).
We hope you find this information valuable and encourage others to share and implement similar practices in their own operations.
We believe it is important to share the story of the creation of our products in order to give context of how we arrived at the pricing.
The products of the Fogo Island Shop have been carefully designed to create a modern expression of the spirit and soul of our traditional outport furniture. They marry the essentials of function and tradition with contemporary design to create one-of-a-kind pieces that embody human care and touch. Each piece is individually hand crafted by Island artisans using locally harvested wood. In some cases, the artisan himself goes into the woods to forage for the ideal timber which must be hand cut and left to air dry for many months before it is ready to carve. These particular pieces are “vintage” to a specific year and a very limited number can be produced.
All other inputs are sourced from suppliers and jurisdictions that abide by basic labour and environmental standards. All components used in the making of our products are made in extremely small quantities and thus do not achieve the economies of scale seen in large, industrial, automated manufacturing processes. Our pricing reflects the cost of creating dignified, local employment, sustainable environmental practices and fair working conditions here and abroad.
All of our pieces carry our perhaps-first-in-the-world economic nutrition label which breaks down where each dollar spent at the Fogo Island Shop goes.
A potential purchaser should take comfort and pleasure in knowing that purchasing one of these pieces creates direct, long-lasting positive impact on the individuals and the community who take part in its creation. It is part of a greater effort to build an economy of care, craft and culture to benefit the future of the Fogo Island and Change Island communities, and serve as a model for others. When you purchase a piece from the Fogo Island Shop, you are also purchasing a piece of Canadian heritage, a made-to-order, made by hand, limited edition that is helping these rural communities find their own path to resilience in the global marketplace.