Scaling and mainsteaming – the ethical dilemas

Everyone with an interest or passion for a particular ethic around food (be it organic, fairtrade, vegetarian, whatever) is challenged with the issues that are almost inevitable when a niche business or sector gets bigger and then edges on mainstream.

One of those issues is the purchase of large and profitable independent food businesses by larger and more profitable entities with little or no core ethics.

This is more than a theoretical consideration as this study by Philip H. Howard on the US organic food sector shows.

This is a still from an 18 second animation which shows left to right the gradual absorbing of the key independent players in the sector into larger entities over 12 years 1995 to 2007.

Have a look at more detail here. For me a business absorbed into a larger company with no ethical core drops from my shopping list (Green & Black being a good example, I have no interest in supporting Kraft Foods)
/ keith

 

 

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