Finding a Balance in the Global Food-Chain
In a recent interview I gave for Play Ground I note that consumers face a distorted market in which prices do not reflect the intrinsic value of the products but the decisions of a few over the majority.
Big supermarket chains govern the food supply chain globally. Its rapid growth has to do with the drastic reduction in the number of alternative distribution channels. While the former advance, the latter recede. Producers do not have their own distribution systems with points of sale.
When it is not the competition the shifts prices, consumers may pay more than they should and may be offered less variety of products and lower quality. What incentives do small and mid-sized producers have to invest in better products if they can not make a profit?
The time has come to balance the power in the global food supply chain, and the initiative of the European Commission, despite some reservations is welcome.
In my recent book Lobbying for Change I show how every day citizens can effect change in all areas of life, including the marketplace. The ‘Sugar-Tax’ on soft drinks was thanks to citizen action. Not only did this result in a better public health outcomes, it made the market a fairer place for consumers to make better choices.