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Sourcewashing—coming to a product near you

Have you seen the new Domino’s ad depicting its dairy source as a verdant field with cows grazing contently? Did you know that companies are packaging ingredients from China in the U.S. so the label can read “Made in America? It’s all part of a new “sourcewashing” trend.

This practice of misrepresenting where ingredients come from is quietly growing in the conventional marketplace.

So here’s the scenario I fear: Conventional companies delivering stunning attention-grabbing sourcewashing campaigns that lure consumers into believing. Next the consumer advocacy groups will shed the light of truth on these sourcing claims and sourcing will mean nothing. Actually, it will mean less than nothing. It will signal to consumers that a product is aligned with a fraudulent movement.

Meanwhile, many natural products manufacturers and suppliers will be sourcing with due diligence, looking for ingredients that are unadulterated, local, support indigenous communities, small farms, fair-trade and so on. But without the budgets to promote this, the mass consumer won’t see it and when they do, will it be too late?

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