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Can food ever be too cheap Can consumers be denied choice Can supermarkets offer the lowest prices and still be ethical You - Essay Example

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The term ‘food miles’ indicates the distance a food item has travelled from its place of origin to a supermarket’s shelf. It is one of the benchmark factor to calculate the carbon emission that largely contributes to the global warming. As the globalization has expanded; virtually there are no borders associated with the international trade…
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Can food ever be too cheap Can consumers be denied choice Can supermarkets offer the lowest prices and still be ethical You
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Extract of sample "Can food ever be too cheap Can consumers be denied choice Can supermarkets offer the lowest prices and still be ethical You"

Download file to see previous pages There is an argument if it is ethical for business community to overlook the environmental damage cause by the transportation of food from thousands of miles away, consume fossil fuels and cause green house gases. On the other hand people argue that the imported organic food items creats much of the CO2 at its production site. For instance, lamb imported from New Zealand produce around 1500 pounds of CO2 per ton while the same produce four times if raised in Britain. Since I am an staunch supporter of importing items from other countries, it is important to make one understnd that carbon emission is not the only reason for global warming issue. Other factors, which economists term as ‘factors inputs and externalities’, like use of fertilizers, packaging disposals, irrigation methodology, use of different types of transportations etc. are also considered while using ‘Food Mile Calculator’, a technique to quantify the carbon emission footprints. Secondly, growing population of the world has made it impossible to feed through local grown production. Therefore, rather an effort to control the obsession for food of our consumers, go beyond the borders, utilize naturally fertile lands and provide sustainable products irrespective of the season. The new deal drafted by World Trade Organization is helping new economies to emerge. It ensures that trade balance does not fall in favor of rich countries only. Countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh with huge populations are discouraged to depend only on American and European economic aids, and adopt ‘catch-up’ policies to reduce their trade deficit. The Soil Association (UK) voices for the “food miles” labelling system but insists that it is not trying to stop air-freight, produces more carbon dioxide than any other tansportation means. Reseachers believe that concentrating only on air-freighted products, that constitutes only 0.5% of the global production (Soil Association), will hurt the economic efforts to build local economies of the under-developed countries. I can, therefore, confidently state that the real issue is not about the global warming but the accessibility of our consumers to a sustainable organic product and information about the economic and social impact of intercontinental world trade. Despite of freedom of choice, more environmental friendly and financial boost that each “food mile” brings to the international communities, people stand against it. I am not against the local producers, but people tends to be over conscious when it comes to air-freighted food. Of course, it does not bring the price down, but makes it possible to offer the food they like when it is not being home grown. The availability of such items gives an added-value to the supermarkets and for that businesses are entirely elligible to add increased cost of transportation and logistics. For instance, locally grown British broccoli, available only from February to April, is much cheaper than the Zimbabwean purple broccoli, available through out the year. Personally, I would prefer ‘food miles’ labels tagged rather denying our consumers from having healthy food choices, just because of a false notion. This is unethical business practice and does not help the local as well as international societies in any way possible. There are several ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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