I find it disturbing that WSJ attributes the increase in organic production
to the whims of the American consumer. If this is the case, have we just
created a kinder, gentler United Fruit Company--a system that will continue
to flood the U.S. with food below the cost of production and leave the
majority of Guatemalans impoverished? And how long will campesinos hold
onto that comparative advantage before organics becomes no more profitable
than conventional methods?
I would like to think that it is possible to have a different scenario,
where Guatemalans own the land and control production practices, and local
food consumption is the priority. The article failed to mention that many
successful trading organizations are successful because they incorporate
>X-Authentication-Warning: shasta.ces.ncsu.edu: majord set sender to
email@example.com using -f
>Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 14:45:07 +0000
>Subject: guatemalan organic farms
>To: "Andy Clark, SAN Coordinator" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> lloyd kinder <email@example.com>
>Cc: RDMACGREGOR@gov.pe.ca, sanet-mg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>sorry about the length of that article -- i should have posted a warning
>-- was anyone else desiring more information about the cultural and
>ecological impact that organic farming has made on guatemalan farmers
>(granted, the article was from "the wall street journal," so the
>economic focus of the article should be expected) -- BUT . . . i'm
>curious if the farmers recognize a change in their lifestyles as organic
>farmers rather than farmers that use pesticides? was it a conscientious
>value-based decision to farm organically, or were they forced to because
>of economic and political factors? are these farmers actually "farming"
>or just collecting the native plants . . . and is that a fair
>distinction? and have these farmers actually "learned of the
>comparative advantages of selling organic premium-priced goods?" this
>point really bothers me . . . are they farming organically simply
>because it brings them more money, and if they could receive more money
>for pesticide-laden produce, would they?
>i hope that readers of this "TWSJournal's" article don't come away from
>it with "green, greedy eyes" for organic farming --
>i believe that farmers are those who truly desire to cultivate a
>personal relationship with the land and to communicate with it, . . .
>their desire comes from a spiritual commitment to the preservation of
>the Earth . . . and an unselfish understanding that they share the Earth
>with many other current AND future inhabitants -- .
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