Walking through one of our neighborhood supermarket, I was wondering how many Bio products I saw 5 years ago?
To me, it seems to be too much of Bio around. I don’t mean the products, just the word. This word has been way too much used and abused, to the point of losing its real meaning. If you don’t see it yet, you’ll probably see them in another couple of years, in every European city.
Bio milk, bio vegetables, bio meat, bio clothes, bio car, bio laptop, anything else? There is so much of Bio word in Germany that it baffles me to think, did we eat non-sense till now? How come everything suddenly changed to Bio? Are the products really Bio? Have we suddenly become so environment conscious? or is it just a marketing gimmick? Are companies really interested in responsible production? Or is it just way to contain drop in demand in a particular geography? How much percentage of their portfolio actually consists of environmentally conscious products? I wouldn’t be naming the companies but let’s see few examples.
Company A: People in France don’t like Fast food? No problem, let’s call our Burger, Natural Bio sandwich.
Company B: Customers in Scandinavia are sensitive to animal rights and demand for animal shows is going down? Let’s stop selling the shows in Scandinavia, but shows will go on and will be sold in other countries.
Company C: Consumers are sensitive to pollution through old energy generation methods? Should we change the energy generating methods? No way! Let’s just change the marketing campaign, just show green energy pictures everywhere, start charging customers more to give them an impression we’re doing something. Meanwhile let’s build some more coal-fired power plants in neighbouring countries. Cheaper labour, cheaper to import, fewer regulations and people are not complaining about pollution, yet. Problem solved for now.
I should actually be pro-business, after all that’s what MBA graduates are supposed to do. But my idea of business if not about cheating people, or destroying the nature. Money can be made in a sustainable way, in a real sustainable way and not just by tricking consumers into thinking we are sustainable.
It maybe harder for established businesses to change. This opens doors for new businesses and entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses, smart use of technology to solve problems. Our classmates talked about Smart Agriculture in the last session, that’s a very promising field indeed. It will not just be the use of word Bio, in future everybody can have access to fresh vegetables and fruits, produced in a sustainable way, within the city. That’s the promise of smart agriculture.
Providing food to the growing population is going to be a big challenge. If the technology matures and spreads to more countries, we’ll be able to secure a better and healthier future for the next generation and beyond.