“I want to consume natural products that are good for my health and respect the environment, that come from our land and its amazing biological wealth. I’m prepared to pay a fair price. I want to be a responsible consumer!”
Fulvio Eccardi & Leticia Mendoza
Supermarket shelves announce “organic products” and those farmed by “small producers”, but the information tends to be generic and scarce. When I visit a street market, the greengrocer offers me tomatoes from Sinaloa and nopales from Milpa Alta. In “organic stores” I find imperfect but very juicy apples from Chihuahua, “brown tomatoes” produced in Morelos, dried xoconostles from Hidalgo and organic coffee from a cooperative in Chiapas. In “farmers’ markets,” I can buy organic vegetables from the Topilejo or Xochimilco farmers, native criollo avocados from Nepantla and cheese made by women from a cooperative in the Ajusco. What should I buy? Should I compare prices, check the stamps on the labels or follow the local vendor´s recommendations?
Given this array of possibilities, it is consumers’ choices that trace the path of the present and future of responsible consumption that will make it possible to guarantee sustainability. It is essential to inform consumers about products and producers, and show them how, where and why farmers do what they do. Armed with this information, consumers will be able to make conscious, informed decisions about their purchases.
Those Who Do Things Right
There are cooperatives of coffee, honey and mescal, landrace corn tostadas and cacao producers, all of whom manage their natural resources properly, and organize and equitably share profits, yet many of them lack access to the market and consumers simply have not heard about them. For these people, social networks represent a viable alternative for displaying their products, opening up markets and make growing demand stimulate production.
Sustainable Production Systems and Biodiversity
This CONABIO project promotes producers working with biodiversity-friendly business plans, short commercialization chains and fair trade schemes.
In this multimedia platform, we share information on sustainable products and services with social commitment and invite others to do the same. We tell stories about the biological wealth of Mexico and its intimate link with the consumer; we open up channels of dialogue between producers and consumers, and design new distribution strategies without intermediaries to promote fair trade and achieve the expected impact on responsible consumption. Today, a significant economic investment is required to take these messages to hundreds of thousands or millions of consumers, to create an indestructible network whose strength is knowledge, information and awareness and where new generations will be able to realize their hopes and once again believe that a new Mexico is possible.