Sustainability, the UN and Millennials

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The



sustainability



– or rather,



theintegrity of the supply chain

– Is indispensable to civil society. The United Nations Organization (UN) reaffirms this, with unfortunately poor results. And the


Millennials




, more than their predecessors, seem bent on forcing change.


Globalization of abuse and


greenwashing

Slavery


and child exploitation




, deforestation and ecocide are still often the hidden ingredient in shelf-stable foods.

La globalization of abuses still characterizes the


supply-chain




by




Big Food


, since it is driven by financial logic where food is just numbers and the only goal is profit maximization. (1)


The


greenwashing

– i.e., the ‘greenwashing’ of the corporate image with cosmetic statements, devoid of substance and in any case unsuitable to compensate for other horrors – is the rule. But lies surface easily and news circulates, in the era of the web. (2) And so, the credibility of the masters of the
greenwashing
crumbles.


Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), the UN goals

The UN has drafted a 2030 agenda., with a view to achieving the 17 SDGs (


Sustainable Development Goals




)

. After the miserable failure of the


Millennium Development Goals.




, achieved perhaps only by the People’s Republic of China with regard to the eradication of extreme poverty.

The deadlines for achieving the goals of sustainable development agreed upon at the United Nations are approaching, inexorably. And global food production is already close to what is required to feed the world’s people, but its distribution remains grossly inequitable.




The only






food waste



– if and when it can ever be solved-it would help feed those 2 billion individuals who struggle to survive each day on less than US$2 per capita. But the problem of inequality, it is clear, must be addressed structurally, with policy decisions on a far different scale. Along the lines not surprisingly proposed by the UN and so far disregarded by almost all of its member countries.

The giants of the production and distribution chains could play their part, but they are still far behind. Rather, the system, anchored in paradigms of non-participatory economics, remains tied to procurement logics based on saving at any cost. With rare virtuous exceptions, (3)

Living and working conditions of local communities are systematically neglected, in developing countries (DCs) as well as in those that believe themselves to be advanced. (4) The neoliberal horde is dismantling welfare and rights, with the help of partnership agreements (e.g., CETA, JEFTA, TTIP) that will erode what is left of workers’ statutes. In the name of a market that continues to enrich only the
shareholders
– i.e., the shareholders – at the expense of the rest of the world (the so-called
stakeholders
). And the inequality gap widens, day by day.


SDGs, consumAtors and


Millennials




ConsumAtors are confirmed




to be the real lever of change as we wait for the European Court of Human Rights to begin ruling on land robbery and other international crimes at the origins of some food supply chains.

The
Food Ethics Council
recently released research on ethical consumer choices that offers new signs of hope, with particular reference to so-called Millennials. Consumers of the present, and the near future.

A representative sample of the British population was surveyed about the ‘fairness’ of the food supply chain to workers everywhere based, the environment and animals. And the results showed a gap generational worthiness. Fifty-five percent of respondents aged 16-24 found the system unfair to animals (compared with 32 percent of
over-65s
), 46 percent toward the environment (compared with 28 percent of those over-65).

Other studies, cited in the bibliography, offer support for the idea of a generational demand for hope. The absence of
fair trade
– and more generally, the sustainability of upstream supply chains of goods also offered through ecommerce-is a concrete concern of young European consumAtors.

Curious but true, the Millennials are willing to pay a premium in order to reward companies with credible real CSR strategies (Corporate Social Responsibility). In fact, of

CSV



(





Contributing to Social Values





, in the meaning proposed by the writer


).


Younger consumAtors
, in essence, tend toward loyalty toward the
brands
that express 360′ value, including in terms of social and environmental equity. As well as respect for the consumers themselves, their intelligence and their health. (5) In a word,
Égalité
!

Word to the wise, few words.

Dario Dongo

Notes



(1) Exemplary in this regard is the stubbornness of group



Ferrero

in the use of palm oil which is sure to cause land robbery, abuse of even child workers, deforestation and other crimes. For the sole purpose of saving on production costs. See the articles


https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/olio-di-palma-ferrero-sostenibilità




e




https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/il-palma-spremuto-a-freddo-è-una-leggenda-ferrero-è-ora-di-voltare-pagina


(2) They cite as an example that one million hectares of forests eradicated to make way for oil palm monoculture, which ‘escaped’ the declarations of RSPO palmocrats. See https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/olio-di-palma-rapina-delle-terre-e-deforestazioni-un-milione-di-ettari-sfugge-ai-registri-di-rspo-denuncia-la-zoological-society-of-london



(3) A shining example is that of



Coop Italy

, the first retailer in the world to have introduced SA8000 supply chain ethics certification. In addition to the lifelong fight against caporalato https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/coop-presenta-buoni-giusti-l-ortofrutta-non-è-mai-stata-così-pulita



(4) The working conditions imposed by



Amazon

speak for themselves. Cf. https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/amazon-cyber-schiavitù

(5) It is therefore time to curb even the most barbaric practices of promoting junk food. Some insights on https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/youtube-e-junk-food-la-connessione-virale-per-adescare-i-millennials

Bibliography

http://l.yimg.com/dh/ap/default/150528/Yahoo_Discovering_Millennials.pdf

https://www.pwc.com/it/it/industries/retail-consumer/assets/docs/think-sustainability.pdf

http://www.oneplanetfood.info/sprechi-alimentari