Beyond the Label

lots of labels Photo: G Online

I often get asked whether I think fair trade is a bad idea, and my response is usually “it’s much better to buy fair trade than to buy unfair trade- but if you care about farmers, ask them what they want”. In general, I’m not favourably inclined toward green consumerism.

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Food Sovereignty – but with details

I know I bang on a lot about food sovereignty on this blog, but it’s not all hot air. I’ve just guest edited a section of The Journal of Peasant Studies (really the most hard-hitting academic journal of its kind) and was lucky enough to pull together some excellent papers and interviews. Although the JPS can get dry in parts, the section I edited was the Grassroots Voices bit, which is intended as a forum and resource for activists. And they’ve decided to make it available free (as opposed to the $100+ individual subscription rate).

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Bristol Festival of Ideas

The Value of Nothing
In association with The Converging World
2 December 2009, 18.00-19.00
The 3rd Floor, Bush House, 72 Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QD

Raj Patel is one of the leading radical voices of our time. A writer, activist and academic, he is currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has worked previously for the World Bank, interned at the WTO, consulted for the UN, and protested against his former employers. He follows his first book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System, with The Value of Nothing. Credit has crunched, debt has turned toxic, the gears of the world economy have ground to a halt. It’s now clear that the market doesn’t only get it wrong about sub-prime mortgages, it gets it wrong about everything.

London School of Economics Public Lecture

6.30-8pm Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, London School of Economics.  More info here.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Credit has crunched, debt has turned toxic, the gears of the world economy have ground to a halt. It’s now clear that the market doesn’t only get it wrong about sub-prime mortgages; it gets it wrong about everything. We need to ask again one of the most fundamental questions a society ever addresses: why do things cost what they do?

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