Back in 2010, I co-wrote a paper called ‘The co-operative path to food security‘. In it, I pointed to the increasing volatility of global food prices as speculators moved their gambling activities from financial products to commodities markets. Charities working with the poor of the global South are increasingly focusing on the link between poverty and control over food supplies, which includes ownership of land. Without that control, our daily bread might become subject to the forces of extortion that have destroyed our banks and left us with the politics of austerity.
It never was enough for me that the food I bought in my local Co-op was ethical and fairly-traded; as a green economist I also wanted it to be as local as possible. The Co-operative shops have not been as successful in this regard as I would like because of their centralised distribution system, but my own Midcounties Co-op has been building up its Local Harvest offer in recent years and I’m surely not the only customer who looks to see whether the vegetables on the shelves have been grown on the Co-operative Farms. The threat to sell this land and destroy the livelihoods it supports pushes the possibility of sustainable local supply chains further away than ever.
~Molly Scott Cato
Read the full article at Co-operative News