A roadmap for true pricing

“If true costs are the problem, then true prices are the solution”

Today, the vision paper A roadmap for true pricing is published. In the context of the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), True Price sets out a vision on how to systematically address issues such as underpayment, loss of biodiversity and carbon emissions within today’s economic system.

The true price is the market price plus the unpaid external costs. True pricing helps address all costs made in the production of goods and services by making hidden costs transparent. For instance, those costs that are paid by communities living next to a polluting factory, or the future generation that will have to deal with the increasingly disrupting effects of climate change.

This vision paper proposes a roadmap to realize a sustainable economy with true pricing at its core. It explains how true pricing can transform our economic system in three phases: first by creating transparency, second by enabling the remediation of hidden costs and finally by creating a level playing field. Concrete starting points are presented for businesses, investors, governments and consumers on how to start with true pricing. In addition, the paper argues for a collective effort to embrace a true pricing standard.

This true price vision paper is the first publication in a series of open source publications on true pricing. True Price will share in the coming period the normative foundations of its standard, followed by a step-by-step release of the standard itself, accompanied by a public stakeholder consultation.

The current vision paper will be further improved based on stakeholder feedback and True Price openly invites comments on the paper. During the coming three months (June 2019 – August 2019), we are holding a consultation period. If you would like to contribute to the vision paper, please send an email to consultation@trueprice.org.

Only by working together we can accelerate a sustainable economy with true pricing at its core. Join us.

About True Price

True Price is a social enterprise with the mission to realize sustainable products that are affordable to all by enabling consumers to see and voluntarily pay the true price of products they buy. True Price was founded in by social entrepreneurs Michel Scholte and Adrian de Groot Ruiz.

Further information

You can access and download the vision paper: A roadmap for true pricing.

For further information or interview requests, please reach out to us at info@trueprice.org or +31 20 240 3440.

Address True Price

True Price
Kabelweg 57
1014 BA
Amsterdam

The True Price of Jeans

What is the true price of a pair of jeans?

On average the true price is 33 euros above the retail price.

Using the true price method, Impact Institute and ABN AMRO‘s report the True Price of Jeans (Dutch version: True Pricing in de jeansketen) is being featured by Dutch national news outlets including NU.nl, de Telegraaf, RTLZ, Trouw, on radio 3 and on TV RTL EditieNL.

How can this gap be closed? The cotton must be produced more efficiently and forced labor must be stopped. At the same time, workers need to earn living wages. Finally, circularity should be improved by reusing the denim from jeans more often.

Interested in learning more? Join us on 4 June for The True Price of Food Event we are hosting in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger and Circl. This event is the first of three that will explore how true pricing can be applied to various sectors. In September, the second event will explore The True Price of Fashion.

At True Price, we want to raise consumers’ awareness of the background of products of good. Typically, the retail price does not consider the external effect the production of goods has on society and environment. For that reason, True Price wants to make things transparent to calculate the real cost – or the true price– of products.

New milestone in moving towards True Price open standards!

Imagine a world where every product is priced for its true price, a price which considers social and environmental costs too, such as underpayment of workers and air pollution. Last month, this world became one step closer as True Price took an important step in its mission to enable everyone to know the true price of a product. Together with our friends at Wageningen University and Bionext we kicked-off a program on True and Fair Pricing to make true pricing methodology available to everyone as an open standard.

So what does this actually mean? This means that soon for example bakeries, banks, farmers can use these open source standards to have better insights on the true price of their products, reduce their environmental impact and improve the conditions of their employees. And it help can you choose environmentally and socially sound products by seeing their true price.

In the coming years we will work closely with many organizations such as ABN AMRO, Rabobank and the EKO foundation to determine the true price of products, amongst others of potatoes and tomatoes.

Michel Scholte, Executive Director at True Price: “We’re extremely happy to be chosen by the Dutch government Top Sector to further develop and share our standards on true pricing. Only by working together and sharing our insights we can move quickly to a world where we enable everyone to know the true price of food!”

Want to know more about our work on true pricing ? Sign up for our newsletter!

 

* This project is financially supported by the Dutch Topsector Agri & Food. Within the Topsector, private industry, knowledge institutes and the government are working together on innovations for safe and healthy food for 9 billion people in a resilient world.

Sustainability of food

How does sustainability influence our food?

This was the subject of Sustainable Food Event 2018 in Gouda.

On National Sustainability Day Adrian de Groot Ruiz, Co-founder and Director of True Price, introduced the concept of true pricing at the Sustainable Food Event Gouda. This event was inspirational and informative evening that our responsibility to choose sustainable food.

True Price contributed to the evening by sharing concrete examples of how food prices do not reflect the cost our food has on society and the environment.

True Price wants to raise consumers’ awareness of the background of products and goods. Typically, the retail price does not consider the external effect the production of goods has on society and environment. For that reason, True Price wants to make things transparent to calculate the real cost – or the true price– of products.

You can learn more about the true price of products and follow our journey by connecting with us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Read about the Sustainable Food Event Gouda and the Fairtrade Gemeente Gouda year-round initiatives here (in Dutch).

The True Cost of Cocoa – Tony’s Chocolonely Progress Report

True Price and Tony’s Chocolonely have a multi-year collaboration. Tony’s Chocolonely is a Dutch chocolate brand, known for its mission to make the global chocolate chain 100% slave-free. Since 2012, Tony’s Chocolonely has been buying cocoa beans directly from farmer cooperatives in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Furthermore, Tony’s Chocolonely wanted to understand the impacts of their cacao value chain compared to the sector. Therefore in 2013, True Price carried out an analysis for Tony’s Chocolonely in which the social and environmental costs of a conventional chocolate bar and a Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bar were calculated.

In 2013, Tony’s performed 44% better than the sector cocoa. Now we have published an extensive report that tracks the performance of Tony’s Chocolonely. While the current true cocoa cost for both Tony’s Chocolonely and the sector benchmark show improvement since 2013, there is still work to be done to have lower true costs and more sustainable cocoa.

Tony’s Chocolonely cocoa is more sustainable than the average cocoa

True Price found that the true cost of cocoa for Tony’s Chocolonely farms in 2017 is €4.52 per kilogram. This is 54% lower than the true cost of the (weighted) average cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana (true cost of €9.91) and is an 43% improvement compared to the Tony’s Chocolonely farms in 2013 (true cost of €7.93).

By quantifying the social costs in the cocoa value chain, such as underearning and child labor, Tony’s Chocolonely were able to adapt their price setting strategies to ensure that farmers make a living income. Tony’s Chocolonely performs better on the impacts underearning of smallholder farmers (that receive a Tony’s Chocolonely premium), child labor and forced labor (that Tony’s Chocolonely actively seeks to prevent). In addition, Tony’s Chocolonely’s farms have higher yields, which also helps to reduce the true costs per kilogram cocoa.

Tony’s Chocolonely has improved since 2013, but there are still external costs

While the results of this study show that real progress has been made over the years, external costs still remain. True Price’s work with Tony’s Chocolonely provides valuable insights into the opportunities for progress and improvement for the chocolate sector.

For further information check out our Tony’s case page or the full report.