Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

What are the essential characteristics of a good and posh supermarket?

European cheese, Italian herbs, Brazilian Coffee, Chillian wine, Washington apples…

Supermarket shelves can provide good lessons in world geography, at least vis a vis food production

The new global food regime is characterized by long distance trade of food. The fresh produce is highly priced, neatly cut and chopped and colour coordinated and sold in attractive packages. These value-added processes greatly increase the profit margins of these goods. The basket of food and the geography of diet they present – present the integration of food chain with large market for affluent large volume, large value sale, facilitated by refrigeration techniques and transport mechanism.

As consuming such food is the sign of being ‘elite’, ‘modern’ and fashionable, what are the implications for sustainability? Leave aside the demand for locally produced food, what about the way in which of the Trans National Companies (TNCs) determine and dominate on our food consumption systems? What about the quality of nutrients? What about the risks of contamination in inter-continental transfers? What about the carbon footprint? Are these not food for thought?

For further such discussions visit

- Ipsita Basu

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