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Bangladesh tragedy and horsemeat scandal put ethics on consumer radar

About seven in ten Irish adults consider a company’s reputation before buying its products or services, according to a new survey.

Workers examine the site of the collapsed garment factory in Savar near Dhaka.
Workers examine the site of the collapsed garment factory in Savar near Dhaka.
Image: Ismail Ferdous/AP/Press Association Images

MORE THAN 72 per cent of Irish adults consider a company’s reputation before buying its products or services, a new survey has revealed.

According to Business in the Community Ireland, business reputation has been in the spotlight in the past 12 months.

“In light of the Bangladesh tragedy and the Horse Meat scandal businesses should be ensuring a quality, robust, open and transparent supply chain that has best practice standards embedded in it. For all our sakes,” said chief executive Tina Roche.

The research also revealed that one in four consumers believe Irish business reputation has worsened in the past year.

Three-quarters of the 1,000 respondents also agreed that the government should require its suppliers to prove they are behaving ethically in other parts of the world.

“Strong responsible and sustainable practices can have an impact on consumer behaviour. Externally it builds a company’s and indeed a brand’s reputation which can have far reaching effects on customer engagement and loyalty,” continued Roche.

“This research shows that Irish consumers are making responsible purchasing decisions, so it’s crucial for companies to respond to this consumer need by engaging in and communicating their responsible business practices.”

Next week marks the beginning of Responsible Business Week in Ireland, which will see a panel of chief executives, including the heads of Accenture, Eirgrid and Pfizer, discuss how sustainable and responsible business practices are working for their organisation.

The survey was compiled by Amárach Research during September 2013.

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