The status of ‘sustainability’ as a consumer buzzword causes retail chains to interfere with farming practices, says agricultural economist Dr Koos Coetzee.
Retailers can use ‘sustainability’ to differentiate the food on their shelves from an identical product stocked by a competitor, to the detriment of farmers.
According to Coetzee, the majority of farmers employ environmentally friendly, ethical and socially responsible farming practices as these practices are in fact profitable in the long-term. However, the added cost of ‘sustainability’ certification and audits detracts from farming profits.
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