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Articles & Essays

Local versus global is not the real issue

Spot the contradiction. Today, a conscientious, ethical consumer might celebrate the start of Fairtrade Fortnight by walking into a local, independent grocery store in the South-west of England and filling his basket with honey, herbs, chocolate, dried apricots, bananas, even wine from the developing world. He might then go to the till, walking past innumerable signs boasting of how much of the shop’s stock is sourced locally, and pay in a local currency, the Bristol Pound, which uses the slogan “Our city. Our money”. To say there is a tension here is to put it mildly. Yet both Fairtrade and the new localism can be reconciled as two parts of the solution to the same problem: the injustice and unfairness of the current market economy.

Comment piece in yesterday’s Independent

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