Kiriakos Krastillis's Blog

Cheap vegetables

The price of cheap vegetables

I live in Germany now. It is quite nice here. You get a job, health insurance, even money from the government in case You don't earn enough yourself. In those terms it may not be that different from many northern European economies. But that doesn't make it any better. You see, for centuries, Europeans have been basing economic growth and prosperity on the African continent. Our best wine comes from there as well as cotton, coffee, chocolate, gold, diamonds and various exotic produce. But now times have changed. The continued prosperity of more than a century (ignoring a world war here and there) have made growing vegetables in Germany quite expensive and the mass population, despite the record growth figures, remarkably poor.

This coupled with the rise of the "discounter store", a euphemism for using market presence to force producers and exporters to tighten their margins to unsustainable values, has lead us to an incredibly high demand in fresh produce that needs to be imported from southern Europe but still is too expensive when produced legally even there!

The price you pay vs the price You cause...

More on Arte

What we are seeing here can only be described as a return to traditional feudalism. The landlord, unchecked and even sponsored by the "commune" to produce exports at the lowest possible cost and the people that actually work the feud being stripped of any right, terrorized of prosecution and deportation and living in sickening conditions.

This is what WE bought with our 1€/kg Oranges and 80¢ Avocados! I don't know if I am feeling sick or angry right now but I do know that I want to divest from those practices. There is a farmers market in my neighborhood twice a week I think I will be giving them the respect they deserve from now on. Heres to local sourcing, heres to fair trade and empowering the individual!