The consequenses of the bulk driven food business

I was invited by ProColombia to a matchmaking event in Arequipa, Peru recently. It was such a great arrangement for producers from the Andean region, and buyers from all over the world to meet during two intensive days. Many new great contacts and also a lot of new important learnings.

One of the first questions I got in the 25 meetings I had, was: ”Are you interested in bulk”? I e if I wanted to purchase large volumes for processing and packing in Sweden. When I answered ”No, I’m not”, I could se how relieved they got. It turned out that very few producers are interested in selling their products in bulk, since it leaves them with very limited margins.

Proudly they showed me instead their processed and ready-to-sell packages of their products – maca, lucuma, cacao, quinoa, chia seeds, bars, granolas, smoothie mixes and so forth. The reason was so obvious. They all want to climb up the value-chain and gain larger margins for the work they do. Producing and packing in the contries of origin would also give more work oportunities, in particular to women, who seldom work in the heavy agriculture.

I’ve made a 5 minute video (below) of these learnings and from a visit to as typical swedish supermarket (ICA). From my perspective the consequenses of the bulk driven food business for the countries of origin and small-scale farming are really sad. Supermarkets and large brands have a huge responsibility and hence oportunity to contribute to the UN Global goal SDG2, which is about sustainable small-scale agriculture.

Do you think a new tagging or labeling of food products is needed? To highlight products from small-scale farming and where value-chains until finished consumer product are left in the country of origin? Please share your thoughts on this.

PS Här kan du hitta Nathalie’s ekologiska torkad mango, torkad ananas, torkad bananito och torkad physalis

Och här kan du också hitta ett oslagbart erbjudande på Nathalie’s physalis marmelad – sexpack! Perfekt att ha hemma som gå-bort-present och till ostbrickan.