Not everybody can afford to worry whether their clothes have Fair Trade accreditation, proving they weren’t made in Bangladesh sweatshops.
But those who have higher incomes are increasingly able to influence companies by choosing to buy ethical.
If the Cook Islands want to woo high-yield tourists – and we do – then we need to assure them our resorts and restaurants treat their staff decently.
Nobody is going to feel comfortable paying hundreds of dollars for a waterfront room, if they know the cleaners and grounds staff are being bullied and paid less than minimum wage.
How can we offer that assurance? With the same sort of accreditation that’s stamped on our cornflakes packets. International accreditors like Top Employers Institute interview staff and managers before awarding the prestigious badge.
The Cook Islands tourism sector can show initiative by offering our workers decent conditions – or we can watch as others take the lead and take our tourists.