Ewan's Blog - Councillor Ewan Aitken

Friday, November 24, 2006

Scottish Langoustine Being Flown to Thailand

The story about the Scottish langoustine being flown to Thailand for hand peeling and back because its cheaper than doing in with Scottish workers was for me also a parable about the challenge of climate change. There is no doubt that in pure accounting terms the decision to fly these outsize prawns half way across the world and back makes sense though not to the 70 Scots whose jobs are lost in the jet stream. But the very act has lost that firm and its product brand value because customers are now saying "I want to pay for a low carbon footprint as well as decent langoustine".Or are they? Once those little seafood critters hit the shelves at a price much less than they would had they never seen the light of a Bangkok dawn will the customers care? There is an opportunity here for people to be really demanding. How about printing of a products carbon footprint as well as it's calorie count? That might mean a very different set of decisions at the checkout. It won’t save jobs but could this be the tipping point for the green consumer to take control of just what choice there is. But, what choices really make business sense back at the accountants desk?

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