Light in the forest

POLAND presentation
by Ipssar Ippolito Cavalcanti
Naples- Italy
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Industrial development brings mass consumption
through serial products. Everyone who lives in an
industrial country is a potential consumer of
industrial products that are producted in large
quantities at low cost. At the beginning of the 20th
century, the first big advertising campaign appered in
several towns in order to inform people about new
products, but also to create new needs.
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Mass consumerism is the use and the production of
products on global scale. This type of consumerism has
developed in the last century. There are many benefits of
mass consumption and production; however the main
banefits are that it contributes to the global economy and
permits mass tourism. Without mass consumerism, there
would be no trade between countries around the world.
There are countries like China and Japan that have benefited
from the use of mass production, due to their ability to
produce on a large scale.
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However there are also many
disadvantages of mass consumerism,
especially in regard the environment for
example : loss of quality in products,
loss of work ethics and fair trading.
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production on a
grand scale means
no consideration
for quality, but only
for quantity, and
bad working
conditions for
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Another disadvantage of mass
production and consumption is that a
good work ethic and fair trading
facilities are lost, because people focus
on the number of products made and
the amount of money gained and not
on workers’ conditions. We know now
about the increate use of child labour,
long hours, poor pay
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However in recent years, people
look after fairtrade and organic
products, particularly in food and
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To oppose the mass consumerism, an important role
has been played by the so-called “Ecoagriculture”,
which is a sustainaible method of production.
Ecoagriculture, in fact, is both a conservation strategy
and a rural development strategy. Ecoagriculture
recognizes agricultural producers and communities as
key stewards of ecosystems and biodiversity and
enables them to play those roles effectively.
Ecoagriculture applies an integrated ecosystem
approach to agricultural landscapes to address all
three pillars, drawing on diverse elements of
production and conservation management systems.
Meeting the goals of ecoagriculture usually requires
collaboration or coordination between diverse
stakeholders who are collectively responsible for
managing key components of a landscape
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MondoBio is one of the Italian references for a different
conception of eating and feeding.
It’s a supermarket where you can find real biological products.
The peculiarities are two different gastronomical labs: one
specialized in the preparation of dishes made up with products
coming from biologial agricolture, and the other one focused on
celiac oven prepared dishes. It is a revolutionary idea and
visiting MondoBio you certainly will discover that it is possible to
eat in a vary varied and healthy ways tasting new kinds of
cereals and legumes.
Bioecological agritourism factories are valued and selected
according to the level of environmental quality and facilities
offered. The evaluation is expressed in daisies, from one to five.
The factories of this circuit respect and defend the environment
by choosing to produce in a sustainable and biological way.
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The best way to balance the natural and human environment
comes from a strong defence of biodiversity, a keen selection
of services and a promotion of natural food. In the last years
fortunately we have had a tendency to recover the rural territory
in order to produce development. This also depends on the
increased touristic ecological demand. Nowadays sustainable
tourism should be extremely respectful of the rural territory,
which is characterized by natural factors (land,
woods,andscapes, rivers, air, etc.) and anthropological,
economical, social, cultural, historical, architectural and
infrastructural aspects. Only observing this rules will be
possible, in short and long period, to increase and consolidate
the competitive skills of the factories operating in this sector.
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In our region Campania there
are two types of well-known
groups of alternative producers.
Genuino clandestino is a group of farmworkers ,
craftsmen,shepherds who sell their products only in their own
sourrounding area.
They fight the rules of the big agroindustrial chains to defend
the free cultivation of the products and the alimentary
sovereignity. According to the rules of the market, there are
hygienic-sanitary criterias that prohibit small producers to sell
their products in an auto-organized way and through selfmade markets. So, the official system forces the consumer to
buy the official products of supermarkets, but these are often
not so genuine.
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These alternative producers call themselves Clandestini
(Clandestine, under-ground), because they refuse to
agree with the rules of the industrial market of food:
they think the mass production is unrespectful of rural
producers and that in spite of the quality of the food, it
prefers the profit of the industries, which makes
agricolture itself a slave of the profit. Across the job and
the voices of “ Clandestini”, producers and consumers
can keep in touch with this type of new mentality of
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What's a G.A.S.?
G.A.S. is an acronym for the Italian
expression "Gruppi di Acquisto
Solidale" (Solidarity Purchasing
Groups). Usually, a purchasing group
is set up by a number of consumers
who cooperate in order to buy food and
other commonly used goods directly
from the producers or from big retailers
at a discounted rate.
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What's the meaning of the word "Solidale"
(Solidarity based)
When a purchasing group doesn't search for just for the
cheapest price, but instead puts people and environment
before profit, the group becomes a solidarity purchasing
group. A solidarity purchasing group chooses the products
and producers on the basis of respect for the environment
and the solidarity between the members of the group, the
traders and the producers. Specifically, these guidelines lead
to the choice of local products (in order to minimize the
environmental impact of the transport), fair-trade goods (in
order to respect disadvantaged producers by promoting their
human rights, in particular women's, children's and
indigenous people’s) and reusable or eco-compatible goods
(to promote a sustainable lifestyle).
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Why are new groups born?
Every single G.A.S. has its specific motivation, but
usually all groups draw their roots from a critical
approach to today's global economic model and lifestyle
of consumerism; individuals that feel the unfairness in
this model and are searching for a practical alternative
can find reciprocal aid and advice by joining solidarity
purchasing groups.
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How does a new group grows?
Usually when some friends develop a tendency toward a less
consumerist way of life, the idea of undertaking shared
purchases initiatives is quite natural. When the idea becomes
more concrete, a fair amount of effort is needed for the
search of some local producer that meets the solidarity
criteria; the next step is the establishment of an internal
structure in the group in order to collect the orders and
redistribute the products, and the solidarity purchasing group
is already born!
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What's the G.A.S. Network concept?
As stated before, a very
demanding task in a G.A.S.
is the continuous search for
producers and products that
satisfy the most stringent
ethical requirements, and it
is now possible to share this
kind of information between
different groups by joining
them in a network;
nowadays the Italian
network counts about 350
solidarity purchasing groups.
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This is an interview to a
manager of one of the
biggest supermarket in
Naples :
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Coop supermarket is one of the best known food selling and
distribution chain in Italy . It’s wide-spread al l over the
country. It garanties a quality biological control.
1) How are generally the products divided into?
..The products are diveded into fresh and dried. In the dried
category we include pasta, oil, tomato tins and in our country
they are considered first need products. The prices are stricly
controller by the Authority. In this field the biological covers a
small part.Biological products are, in fact, mostly fresh fruit
and vegetables.
2) Where do these products come from ?
..They come from Italy as far as fresh products come from
local area.
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3) Where do these products come from?
..They are produced in an area,not very far from here. We can
say they are products kilometre zero
4) How many biological products do you sell in percentage?
..Really,we don't sell very much of the bio products. In fact ,the
economical crisis affects also this field.As you know the costs
of the bioproduction are higher than non bio.
5) Why are the costs so high?
..In a very simple way the bio production is more difficult. It
requires much more accuracy and the real costs are certainly
high.The production is more difficult and one of the major
difficulty is the preservation of this kind of products for long
period. For example one of our best product is fruit.You can
sell a lemon with the leaf that is a symbol of freshness,but as
the lemon bio production has no preservant the life of the
lemon is shorter.
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