>Few farmers think like shareholders and CEOs, with the common result
>that they make consistently poor allocations of capital and seriously
>undermine the profitability of their business.
I think you missed Roberto's key point. What you say is true... many
farmers do not conform to corporate business methods, and therefore do not
compete well in the system we have. They do need to know the basics of
business management. I'm not trying to underestimate the importance of
The point is that there may be something fundamentally wrong with the
system we're using- something that directly conflicts with sustainable ag.
I am happy that farmers don't act like shareholders...
Not many NIKE shareholders think on moral or ethical grounds. Maybe they
should. Sustainability in agriculture requires that we move beyond the
shareholder/CEO mentality, and make decisions not only on the basis of
efficient allocation of capital but also on the basis of other priorities
and knowledge about acheiving these...
Because the market often encourages us to ignore those other priorities, we
must examine it's usefulness in promoting sustainable ag. It is for this
reason that a discussion of alternative economic methods is germain.
I also need to say this: market prices are distorted, and do not represent
a true measure of scarcity. Reacting efficiently to market prices may be
totally inefficient, given opportunity costs, effective costs or real,
rather than percieved, scarcity of resources. Much of the lituriture says
that (contrary to popular opinion) small farms (family sized) are much more
efficient in their factor use if these concepts are taken into account, yet
the market seems to point us in the direction of bigger equals better. ???
Cheers Roberto, I'm with you.
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