Fair market, but unsustainable

fair market

The fair market is the purchase of goods and services whose supply chain has a positive impact on the environment and living beings, including humans. The market as a whole is slowly moving towards this type of purchase. But are the products we buy really ethical?  Are we sufficiently informed to define our consumer behavior as ethical? The answer should be positive, YES. But it is not. Orienting ourselves in this universe is very difficult: information about supply chains is unreliable, the scientific language of official sources is difficult to understand and the marketing tends to obscure the real substance of what we consume.

A new discovery (is fair market sustainable?)

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According to Exter University, for example, the coconut oil we buy as a sustainable product is responsible for the extinction of many species.  In fact, the study compares coconut oil to other vegetable oils (palm, olive, soybean, etc.), highlighting the animal species threatened by the supply chain.

Coconut oil threatens 20.3 species for every million tons produced. Next, olive oil (with 4.12), palm oil (3.8), soybean oil (1.28). The reason: its cultivation in specific tropical areas, such as islands, causes a decrease in biodiversity and the cancellation of topical habitats.

Globally, coconut farms actually take up less space than other oil crops: for example, 12.3 million hectares for coconut palm ones compared to about 18.9 million hectares for oil palm farms. Yet, according to the study, coconut plantations affect 66 species on the IUCN Red List, including 29 vertebrates, seven arthropods, two molluscs and 28 plants.

Sustainable production

All human production processes leave their mark on the ecosystem and the environment. This is especially true for agriculture and livestock farming, the sector with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. However, the aim of this study is not to boycott coconut oil and eliminate it from the market, but to promote its sustainable cultivation. Moreover, of fundamental importance is consumers’ education to the complexity of food phenomena. The risk of ethical purchasing is precisely that of boycotting potentially positive products to achieve global food security and sustainable nutrition.

For Free Choice aims to promote scientific information and method in public discourse. For Free Choice also defends consumers’ choice rights against the smear and demonizing campaigns which aim to confuse them and benefit specific interests.