March 31, 2016

31/03/2016: The Pelletier Column: Searching for a new economic model

https://issuu.com/gfmt/docs/mag1602_w1/28
by Christophe Pelletier

First published in Milling and Grain, February 2016


With the many challenges arising from a growing world population, it becomes more and more obvious that the economic model of the past six decades needs to be refreshed.

As such, providing consumer goods at an affordable price for the masses is not a bad idea. Helping people to have a more comfortable and pleasant life is certainly welcomed by most of us.

The problem is that the so-called ‘consumption society’ is not so much about consumption as it is about people buying and giving their money to someone else. In the current system, consumption is optional. Research has shown that consumers use 75 to 80 percent of the goods that they buy no more than once.

What really matters is the act of purchasing the goods. It is good for growth and the GDP, currently the leading metrics for the state of the economy. The problem is that mass production has gradually shifted from affordability to cheapness and from value to price.

It has also focused mostly on volume and has not taken into account that consumers would have to get rid of what they bought after usage. Negative externalities have been kept external indeed. Short-term financial results have had the preference and long-term impact has been ignored.

The system is hitting a wall and issues of greenhouse gases emissions and waste of resources are now becoming urgent matters to address. All industries will be affected one way or the other. Food and agriculture will be no exception.

Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE.  
 
    
 

The Global Miller
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