Friday, October 8, 2010

Letter to the Editor of The Sunday Leader

Re: "Vegetable Crates May Increase Prices"

I write in relation to the article with the above title, published on the 3rd of October 2010. Some of the assertions quoted therein about the possible increase in prices appeared inflated and unscientific. I am in the process of putting together a basic comparative calculation to prove - or scientifically disprove - the benefits of using crates. This however is a spare-time activity and I have therefore been unable to complete the exercise ahead of the print deadlines for Sunday the 10th. I hope to be able to share something simple but indicative as soon as possible nevertheless.

In the meantime, the simplest counterfactual evidence I can point to is the fact that leading, profitable public and private companies such as CIC, Nidro etc, who are directly accountable to their shareholders, would never voluntarily use crates exclusively, as they do now, unless there is a clear overall profit advantage in doing so. My only reservation is that more short-term or closed-minded thinkers may not have the same ability to see the bigger, long-term picture that truly justifies switching to the use of crates, an action that should benefit every link in the chain between the farmer and the consumer. This is the local consumer's and the national economy's loss.