On the occasion of the True Price Conference on December 11 and the launch of the Impact Measurement and Valuation Principles, Me Judice featured an interview with Adrian de Groot Ruiz (Executive Director True Price) about the True Price of products. Me Judice is an independent discussion forum with the aim of stimulating debate among economists and they are invited to write about issues that affect the public interest.
As explained by Adrian de Groot Ruiz, what is new about True Price is that they are the first to map both the environmental and social effects of products (such as CO2, energy, water, land use but also underpayment, child labor and employee health). Another interesting point explained are what does this mean for consumers. The example given is the work True Price has done for Hivos on roses coming from Kenya, where the entire life-cycle of the product was mapped (starting from farm level until the roses reach the shop and are bought by consumers). These findings are very useful for both producers and consumers to know what we need to take into account so that the persons that work to produce the rose have a good life for example.
Further the discussion continues with topics such as what are the motivation for companies to use the method and for which products can this method be used. ‘In principle the method can be applied to all products, we have for example applied it to flowers, but also to coffee and cacao’. The potential is for companies to be able communicate that they are truly engaging in socially responsible behavior but there are also companies that see this as an opportunity to make (innovative) products that are good for the community and for the environment. It is very important that the method is developed in collaboration with True Price partners. ‘We work with big organizations such as AkzoNobel, but also with SME’s like Tony’s Chocolonely, and we work a lot with civil society organizations like ICCO and Hivos’.