Monday, September 04, 2006

Fair trade down on the farm...

...It's part of modern living, the expectation that you can shop till you drop 24/7. Retail therapy as a substitute for community. The Blog of Hope has done a piece on Tesco and the effect that supermarkets have on local communities.

"Supermarkets are also contributing to global deforestation and biodiversity loss by their reliance on using cheaply produced palm oil in thousands of their products. Palm oil plantations are now the major cause of rainforest clearance in Indonesia and Malaysia, threatening some of the world's richest wildlife forests and endangering native species including the orang-utan.

The criticisms are stacking up against the big supermarkets; their influence extends beyond the homogenisation of the high street and the ruination of local economies through to the detriment of animal welfare, to environmental damage, to the suppression of foreign economies and the exploitation of workers throughout the world. Their impact is truly global."

Only a recognition by the global community that it is in all our interests to support fair trade and local products can help to turn the tide of this disturbing trend. One of the ideas discussed at Ecotopia was the concept of anti-consumer education and the need to focus on quality of life rather than quantity. Humanity runs the risk of destroying itself in a consumer orgy of diminishing returns.


Amos Keppler said...

Supermarkets are yet another insane modern venture. They all look the same, and finding oneself inside one of them is very much like walking through a nightmare, and still be awake.

Leighton Cooke said...

Dead right!