multiplication tables – or: it’s enough to be able to count to three

1

The German (and increasingly international) discounter Aldi runs a campaign, announcing that they will in the future sell only milk from farmers that guarantee “living standard” 3 (e.g. freedom to move, fresh air, more space as standard 2, food without gene tech) or 4 (e.g., ref to bio: open space to roam, more space as standard 3, food without gene tech) of the life stock. Good news one could say …

+ 1

A short message in DER SPIEGEL, issue 3, page 61, explores the difficulties of farmers: being left without subsidies, the higher requirements will make it near to impossible to stay in business as the cost for necessary changes are too high for the individual farmer. “Ilchmann [head of the Working Group of Rural Agriculture in Lower Saxony/Bremen, arguing against the quasi-dictate by Aldi and subsequently others – Edeka, already announced similar steps] is placing more hope in the planned state animal welfare label … . For this purpose, the calculation of the surcharges for individual husbandry levels could be made binding.”

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The inflation rate make it for many households increasingly difficult to cope with the cost of living.

= 3

Being part of the entire green growth strategy, the policy by Aldi (and subsequently others) shows that the mainstream of this thinking is not feasible. A “correct 3” requires an integrated strategy, involving a strong intervention by the state and an overall approach, bringing producers, distributors and consumers strategically together. There is not much sense in taking ‘corporate social responsibility’ (Bowen) and/or a ‘sensible mode of life’ (Brand/Wissen) in isolation.

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