June 30, 2002

Commodities From Africa

I stopped by the display in the supermarket. "Nature's friend," it said, with a picture of a ladybug on the box. "100% juice." It was expensive: $3.00 for a single liter. It had a strange narrative on the back: "...a beautiful, fertile valley... nature's little helper, the Ladybug, protects the fruit and keeps it perfect... a taste... as beautiful as the valley they're named after--Ceres."

I picked it up and put it in the shopping cart, but not because I had any need for a one-liter carton of guava juice (mixed with pear and apple juices).

I picked it up and put it in the shopping cart because it--of all the items in the California suburban mega-Safeway--was the only commodity I had seen that came from Africa.

Oh, I know there must be others--some of the coffee, surely; some of the chocolate (especially that processed in Europe) must have come from African beans.

But a whole continent, and the only product from it I noted in the entire store was Ceres-brand fruit juices.

Scary? Yes. Depressing? You betcha.

Posted by DeLong at June 30, 2002 09:18 PM | TrackBack



Your comment resonate a sad a truth.

Africa’s farming produce have to compete with the mightiest and most politically challenging advisory, the US and European farming subsidy. The US and Europe spend the equivalent of the total GDP of all of Africa on farming subsidies. Irrespective of efficiency of the farming sector in Africa, the Europeans and US will always out subsidies their farmers. Now where is the free trade in that that we so strongly urge Africa to endorse?

Posted by: Marwan on July 1, 2002 03:11 AM
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