Equality on a sustainable scale
A new take on the age old issue of inequality. We need to call it out. It’s reached breaking point, and has affected many lives directly, and all of us indirectly.
It’s definitely the time of year to reflect on equality. Equality Day is 26th August in the U.S., and the 4th September is Equal Pay Day in Australia.
We’ve come a long way. There’s so many things we’ve had to fight for – women’s rights to vote, equality for people from various races, religions and sexual persuasion, basic human rights, inclusive practices, pay parity and even calling out bullies. In fact, many would suggest there’s still a way to go for true and realistic equality at a range of levels.
We would agree. But this article isn’t stating the obvious – and what we are all continuing to work towards.
Do you support equality for people, communities and the planet?
Take our Australian farming community as an example. A drought, crippling families, small businesses and communities. Prior to offering aid, I heard one prominent politician comment that businesses need to be viable in order to continue, and the government couldn’t be propping up industries artificially.
Hello. This is our FOOD. The source of our sustenance. It’s not an industry that is better or more efficiently produced elsewhere. Agreed, we need to look for sustainable ways to farm – regenerating the land, efficient crops suitable for our climate, seasonal rotation, supplying locally, etc. It’s likely that with better management, our primary production can be abundant and bountiful. That’s sustainable. There are very qualified people who can help to make this a reality. It won’t get better unless we make it better.
Sustainable equality in our food industry would begin with our farmers receiving a fair price for their crops and harvest. At present, the bulk of the compensation is taken by the processor and the retailer. Our supermarkets, and the industry processing entities have bled farmers dry. Fair and reasonable? not part of the vernacular. This is the cost of supermarket price wars and a shopping duopoly. You have to be really good mates with small businesses affected to understand – most are too scared to speak publicly for fear they’ll lose the business they do have. I can tell you of the supermarkets who demanded their suppliers’ formulations by a certain time, otherwise they would risk being deregistered as a supplier. The ones that provided their recipes had their products replicated by competing businesses and hey presto! the supermarket retailer now had a more extensive range of home brand products to have produced by the most competitive tender.
Unscrupulous, YES. And, don’t be fooled, if these businesses increase their prices and tell you they’re supplying Australian produce, you can be sure they’ve covered themselves. It’s the way they do business.
Another great example is our buying habits. How you spend your income, and the choices you make are the way you live your life. It has a direct impact on your health, and your family, and it impacts communities and the planet our families will be raising their families in.
Modern marketing has created a demand for ‘convenience’. Why think about what’s behind or in the product if a company has expensive packaging or enough money to have ads in front of you consistently? The COST of ‘perceived’ convenience is taking away your right to make choices about the way you want to live, the world you want, and what that means.
Giving away the power that we have as individuals – just like that.
How about those ‘big brands’ that you believe to be reputable?
Are they using slave labour in production, or perhaps they have another company handling their supply, so that if they are found to be traced to slave labour practices, they can say they didn’t know. They may also be the ones that give to charities each year – it doesn’t make it ok.
Or the multinational cosmetics company who’s head of R & D has trouble sleeping at night because he knows, as the executive team know, the ingredients in their products are harmful to your health, likely carcinogenic when used over a period of time. He knows he can’t change what they’re doing, and he knows if he speaks up he loses his job that is putting food on his family’s table.
Or the head biochemist for a multinational cleaning products business who has been asked to find another supplier for a key ingredient because their long standing supplying partner has explained they need to put through a small increase to cover their costs?
It may be the impact of the packaging used. Both the production of the packaging and the disposal, contributing to damage of people and planet.
It may be the ingredients or processing methods used. Synthetic and toxic chemicals, fractionated ingredients like ‘derived from coconut’ – something real…but not actually, in fact, real. Having been heated, chemically changed or extracted and discarded as waste from another industry, used as a filler in another product. It may be the strong bleach that’s used as a processing aid – so it’s not required to be on the ingredient label, but it’s still in the product.
It may be that in producing the product you’re encouraged by their big marketing budgets to buy, that there are people, businesses and communities who are marginalised to produce it.
Equality is up to us. No government or large business will make it happen through their policies. It’s through us – the people, who can create sustainable change by our choices.
It’s what we’re passionate about, and we see the impact to people and the planet. Help yourselves, your families, communities and the planet through better choices – make your lifestyle count!
Browse the Whollygrail Store for responsibly sourced and designed shopping options, and check out our site for all the ways you can be involved, learn about better choices, and how you can live your best life.