Posted on: July 21st, 2011
Reading a recent article in the Ecologist brought to my attention a new angle on an old challenge for green and ethical funds, namely; how ethical are supermarkets? The article caught my eye as a perfect example of a dilemma where there are ‘pro’s and con’s’ and where opinions are bound to be split.
Most funds invest in supermarkets. Most of us buy from them. And most of us also just wish they could be – well – a little bit less like supermarkets.
Over the years some supermarkets have gone a long way to address public criticism, but this time it appears you can have too much of a good thing. Their success means that they buy and sell in large quantities – and this of course applies to organic produce too.
With increasing sales, organic producers are having to fit into supermarkets’ business models.
This challenges the ideals on which the organic movement was build – which amongst other things includes being small scale, local and diverse.
Farming large quantities of a single crop and flying it half way round the world is not what this movement was meant to be about.
That does not necessarily make it wrong of course – just – perhaps – more complex.
This is a good example, if one were needed, of why green and ethical funds have to make balanced judgements about companies such as supermarkets – rather than thinking in terms of black or white.
As ever, opinions will vary. Vive la difference!?!
Have a read and see what you think…