Only one problem: Nobody could find any certified organic and fair-trade farms that produced some of those ingredients.
The solution: Get into the farming business. By 2008, Dr. Bronner’s owned a 200-employee fair-trade coconut-oil operation in Sri Lanka and a 150-employee palm-oil plant in Ghana, and had partnered on a peppermint-oil operation in India. Maybe the most audacious fair-trade project so far has been a partnership that combines olive oils from farmers in the West Bank and Israel, and has become a symbol of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence.
The strategy: Send a celebrity to hypnotize the second-tier food press into reproducing their relentless product pitch in print. The resulting newspaper “articles” read like ad copy. In this case, the article appeared, with lavish photos, as the front full-page lead of the food section in the printed paper, but, aptly, was later moved to the opinion section on the newspaper’s web site, photos omitted.