Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Exploited start fighting back, finally.

One of the ugly facts of modern globalized factory farming methods is that giant transnational agribusiness firms often buy up the best farmland and the biggest livestock operations with the intention of shipping all the products to the US or other "first world" customers, leaving only semi-arable farmland and inadequate livestock production left for the poor third world slaves working in the Robber Baron's fields and slaughterhouses. This means that the local population has to pay more money (due to scarcity) for lower quality goods.

Argentina has decided to do something about this, and it is likely that other exploited nations will follow suit.

YNet News Online
Sharp rise expected in meat prices
Retailers estimate prices to rise by up to 20% due to global shortage, Argentina government's decision to halt exports of meat
Yehudit Yahav
Published: 05.08.10, 15:53 / Israel Business
[Hat Tip: VIN]

...According to one of the leading meat suppliers in Israel, Argentina has halted its exports completely in the past two weeks, and containers of frozen meat have been taken off ships and planes in order to divert the meat to the local market and prompt a price reduction.

Argentina itself is experiencing a shortage of high quality meat, which has led to a price hike. The government is trying to cut the exports and keep the meat in the country in order to reduce prices.

Suppliers also report that the price of imported beef has increased in the past few months from about $4,000 per ton to about $5,000 a ton, and thus, there was no other way but to raise retail prices by some 30%.

Argentina is considered the world's leading meat supplier, but in light of its recent actions importers are being forces to find alternative sources, including Brazil and Uruguay.

The entire world is experiencing a shortage of meat, however, and the prices of processed meat products – including hamburgers and kebab – are also expected to rise...

It is going to be necessary for communities to all become pretty much food self-sufficient. Granted there will always be a market for non-seasonal and exotic foods, and even many of these can be grown sustainably in hothouses and greenhouses. But the reality is that in a world fast un-globalizing, food is going to be more local and regional and seasonal for all of us, and we need to get used to the idea.

Third world governments and their exploited workers are getting tired of watching their own people doing without while fat cat Westerners enjoy the fruits of their land and hard labour - getting tired as they should be. It's not their government's job to feed us. It's their job first and foremost to make sure their own people are taken care of, and then if there is any surplus to sell it abroad for profit. Just as it is our own responsibility to localize our food production and adopt sustainable practices so that adequate food is available for our own local population - but we're not doing that.

We still think we have some sort of inalienable right to take the food and resources from poor countries no matter how this treats their local people - another example of the "me first" attitude of modern society. It is idiotic to expect other people to simply keep letting themselves be exploited, and poor third world workers have access to molotov cocktails and guns the same as America's unemployed to. And it would not be illogical for them to say to themselves, "If we can't have the food grown in our own country and produced by the sweat of our own brow, then nobody should have it."

And they'd be right.

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