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WWJD? Frankincense distiller considers Fair Trade certification

Paul E. Olsen, Anjanette DeCarlo, Steve Passarelli
May 1, 2017
North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Strategy & General Management
12 pages
fair trade certification, corporate social responsibility, CSR, Business Ethics, management, ethics
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

This case discusses Boswellness, a Vermont-based company that distilled, packaged, and distributed organic frankincense and myrrh products. Founded in 2005 by Mahdi Ibrahim, Jamie Garvey, Bill Lanzetta, and Casey Lyon, Boswellness sourced its frankincense and myrrh resins from Somaliland in northwestern Africa and processed them in Vermont for use as incense, antiinflammatories, natural colognes, immunostimulants, and facial toner and acne treatment. Boswellness obtained Organic Certification in 2010 and was now struggling with whether Fair Trade certification would add value to the company’s credibility and bottom line.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Describe a company’s supply chain
  2. Explain the steps involved in organic certification
  3. Evaluate the implications of positioning a business as socially responsible
  4. Propose and defend a recommendation regarding fair trade certification