Good intention => good food?

21 Dec

I always believe in good intention. I believe that when we have good intention, even if things go wrong, they won’t go really wrong. But lately, I realised good intention is – in Howard’s term – necessary condition but not sufficient condition to prevent things to go wrong.

“If you think you can make the planet better by clever shopping, think again. You might make it worse.” The leader in the Economist started with this statement. They criticised that Fairtrade campaign makes things worse. The energy wasted to ensure that what poor people grow will be bought would reduce efficiency. The resources to grow food locally can be used for greater good. I’m usually skeptical about the publication point of view on globalisation and I am not sure about the calculation of energy and resources, but the arguments do make sense.

I went to a talk by Fairtrade representative few weeks ago. Basically the campaign is to have consumers to buy products that produced responsibly. It means with fair price, and the workers are fairly treated. In many poor countries, many labourers are children and they are badly abused. We can boycott this unfairness by boycotting the products. Well, it was with good intention, but I was not convinced. What happened to those poor kids when they lose the bad job and have no more mean to feed themselves. And when I saw the price, I got more discouraged. They cost arms and legs; they are sort of luxury producs that not everyone , even in rich countries, can afford.

This whole situation got me thinking, good intention to help something that is so apparent in front of my eyes does not always good in the longer period or in broader term. It’s more complex than what it seems initially. It makes me question my views on some globalisation practices. I think I need to update myself. Hehehe.

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One Response to “Good intention => good food?”

  1. Yu December 21, 2006 at 10:22 pm #

    Globalization is indeed an interesting topic. It zooms out the problems caused by expanding gap between poor nations and rich nations. Everybody wants to take advantage of globalization, there is no fair trade, the word “fairness” means the balance of gain and loss in the trade.

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