31/12/12

Fair Value Food

The fair trade movement has been integral in ensuring fair value for farmers and workers in developing countries, tackling poverty and empowering producers to improve the quality of their lives and take more control over their futures. In western countries we have similar issues where some food companies are driven only by profits which means they will try and purchase produce at the cheapest price possible at the expense of the farmers and environment in which it was grown. This creates an issue as it is not a sustainable way to continue to develop the food industry.

Fair value farming is where all participants at each step in the supply chain are paid fair prices for their part of producing, cleaning, packaging and delivering the foods that we all enjoy. In many developed countries, farmers are paid for their produce at a fixed rate and don’t get to negotiate the price, regardless of the quality of their produce. And for some farmers who have no power to negotiate the prices are so low that they barely cover their costs of production. In Australia we have had politicians calling for a plan to disclose the share of the retail price of food the farmers receive in an attempt to distribute fair returns to farmers. I believe this is a simplistic method as this does not adequately account for other roles in the supply chain, such as cleaning, packing, processing, financing, freight and storage.

At The Chia Company we manage the supply chain from our Chia farms, right through to our customers so we can guarantee the quality of our Chia products and ensure distribution of fair value all the way along the supply chain. When I established The Chia Co I drew on experience and knowledge gained from international examples of fair value farming to ensure there is fair value for all participants in the supply chain. We don’t focus on profits at the expense of other parts of the chain. Our farmers are rewarded for producing the highest quality Chia in the world and this allows for profits to be invested back in the environment and the community where our Chia is grown. I encourage you all to take an interest in where and how your food is produced and ask more questions. Sustainable production of food is integral to our future.

Have a great week, John Foss