The world’s natural resources are limited and
increasingly in demand by a growing population. Hence, we have to run our
businesses in environmentally, economically and socially sustainable ways over
the longer term. That’s a critical point, period.
Good intentions! However, how do we meet the
continual hunger for profit of which this epoch in our history is definitely hungry
We live in a capitalist world, who can deny
that? Like somebody in my acquaintances uses to repeat, in all countries and
regimes in this world not
a single drop of economy has ever been leaking in a different way than exploiting
and subduing humans and things for the sake of profit itself. It is not a
matter of who controls economy, government or individuals, capitalism, like it
or not, bases itself upon exploitation. State capitalism or private property
capitalism are but the two faces of the same social process, the one which, in
the name of capital accumulation, forces the majority into the hell of social
wealth production, and the few privileged to rule and enjoy that social wealth
produced at great cost. Yes, because money is always destined to become
Capital, and capital cannot exist without making profits. The chain of profit
is very simple and clear. It starts from Surplus of Labor so then to obtain
Surplus of Product, which leads to Surplus of Value and finally Profit. There
is no other way to make profits and pay what is due to Capital itself. Money
is, as a matter of fact, a social relationship of power and control; no breakout,
my dears. Whilst social relationships express positions of predominance, which
means the society remains class-divided, the chain of profit, or the chain of
exploitation and destruction as it should be correctly called, will keep
dominating the scene. All of our good intentions for distributing resources,
environmental wellbeing, social responsibility, and so forth, remain but good plans,
and that’s all.
In other words, we can
become aware of social misery, environmental risks, health threats, but so long
as we keep using the same process to produce social wealth, we all have to make
profits so as to feed our businesses, countries, and families. So then, without
hypocrisy, let’s be serious and admit that we may well stain our websites with Policy
for this and Policy for that, however, all we are still looking for, is making more
and more money over again, regardless of whom and what we have got to exploit.
Likewise, no legislation
about preserving resources and being socially responsible means that exploitation
of people and nature ceases. On the contrary, it says that exploitation is
systematically and legally used to serve–even better–profit necessities. In
fact, each of us can see that the law of profit continues to override people’s
claims for environmental respect. Once we have burnt down this planet, we have
burnt out ourselves.
The point I want to make
clear is that it is not possible to pass the weight of such a crucial issue on
the farmers. They are businesses and forced into the capitalist race for
competition like all other industries. The entire world society relies on profit;
agriculture is just a part of it. If we want to change things, we have to start
from the foundations.
Coming to the point, let’s see what farmers must
be accountable for in the agricultural supply chain.
They must meet the following points
Lifecycle Assessment (LCA).
This is to determine the farm’s footprint from Farm
to Fork. With respect to this, farmers have to take measures about gas, fuel, land
and water. These measures affect agricultural practices, manufacturing,
packaging, and transport.
One of the mantras of climate change is CO2
emissions, thus farmers must reduce gas impact of all of their processes
throughout their supply chain. To fully accomplish this policy, farmers must
engage themselves into phasing out HCF refrigerants as of 2015, and facilitate
to end deforestation by 2020.
Yes, CO2 is very noxious. Still, ask yourselves
in the name of what we are killing the planet?
Farmers are committed to reducing the
environmental impact of their processes and practices. They must care for preventing
pollution and promoting the sustainability of natural resources. These policies
emphasize that the farm is determined to supply quality products in order to meet
the needs of consumers. What are consumers’ needs? Are they speaking of human
needs? Not in this lifetime! Once again, those are the needs of Capital to help
them make profits, if anything! And there’s more. Some farmers are seriously
resolved to improve their environmental performance even exceeding the
requirements of all applicable environmental laws and regulations. What on
earth shall they do to convince consumers and bureaucrats that they are saving
the world and public health at once?
At this point, I instinctively ask an awkward question,
“Am I going to need a mortgage to buy me a lovely fruit salad?”
impact of Farming, Harvesting, Processing, Packaging, Distributing operations.
Reducing energy and Greenhouse Gases in
This is to ensure farmers will make their best to
reduce energy usage, and so have less gas emissions. Some companies have
facilities LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.
Sorry, but once again I wonder, “Am I going to
need a mortgage to buy me a lovely fruit salad?”
Yes, farmers have to reduce water consumption,
and so they “educate their employees to reuse water and improve processes and
Some companies embrace the CDP program for water
preservation, and CDP, which is home for driving sustainable economies, on
their website (www.cdp.net) they declare, “At CDP we are working to catalyse
action on corporate water stewardship to safeguard water resources and address
the global water crisis – one of the most significant challenges facing the
global economy”. Yes, they drive sustainable economies, and they do that
without even asking for changing social positions of supremacy, of course.
Please, do not laugh aloud!
Another focal point. Reduce waste and recycle,
we all have to reckon with scarcity, but in the meanwhile, we have to serve the
implacable law of profit. How do we reconcile the wolf and the lamb?
This leads to manage another strategic branch of
agribusiness production, Packaging, as eliminating waste in packaging, means to
considerably reduce material usage throughout the supply chain. Some farms promote
end-of-life solutions to reduce post-consumer waste. This results into more
recycled materials and reductions in energy and greenhouse gases.
Still, my question keeps being the same, “How
much money do I need to satisfy my gluttony for fresh fruit and vegetables?”
In the end, unless you guys are lacking in economy or want to venture in
an epic enterprise aimed to save capitalism, don’t blame finance, neoliberals, your
government, globalization, inflation, deflation, low prices, high costs, nor is
it convenient for you to stick on some other odd notion, to soothe the effect
does not eliminate the cause, in fact.
Reality is that the car cannot advance as it is clogged with mud, and it
will restart when the engine of social destruction is free to take its heavy
toll once again.
Last, but not absolutely least, farmers are complaining over their
meager profits, they feel themselves exploited by the big capital of big
business, and of course they are; however, my question is, Did they worry about
the miserable condition of their workers when their incomes were way more
considerable and fat?
By Howard McCoy, @Sienda ltd