Saturday, April 16, 2011

Food Nationalism: Develop a local food and gourmet industry

Developmental ideas that work local and globally

A key development idea is import substitution: Replacing imports with locally made products. This is true for 2700 Atlantic ave., Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Atlanta or Barbados. You always want to consumer products made within you local confines while being a net exporter outside your boundary.

The local food sector is a great target for import substitution. Food production provides lot of jobs, especially in the developing world. They may not pay very much but the large number of jobs helps.

One way to do this is to exploit local taste or create them. Almost every country and region has some sort of food nationalism. All countries have there own specifc recipies that they take pride in cooking. Some countries like Japan and France, have specific laws limiting the number and quality of imports. And almost all countries practice discrimination against some foreign foods. France is well-known example of food bigotry but almost every country has examples.

Conversely, many poor countries have very weak food nationalism cultures. They like imported goods and their status. I have been in two countries where gleaming supermarkets competed with local fresh fruit vendors. The street vendor sold mostly locally produced products. The stores sold the similar products for twice the price. Don't you know people nearly kill themselves getting into the supermarket. They were buying way more than just fruit.

Multinational companies work against such food nationalism for economic reasons. They try to sell the "American" or "European" lifestyle to developing countries. The promotion has have disastrous effects for local farmers and food producers.

Developing communities must promote their own products to keep more money in the local economy. Promotion through word of mouth and cell phone chatter would break though the usual market hype. It turns that "Local" is almost always best when it comes to food.


No comments:

Blog Archive