The Great Grocery Smackdown – The Atlantic (March 2010)

Walmart’s move into organics was then getting under way, but it just seemed cynical—a way to grab market share while driving small stores and farmers out of business.


Then, last year, the market for organic milk started to go down along with the economy, and dairy farmers in Vermont and other states, who had made big investments in organic certification, began losing contracts and selling their farms. A guaranteed large buyer of organic milk began to look more attractive.


The program, which Walmart calls Heritage Agriculture, will encourage farms within a day’s drive of one of its warehouses to grow crops that now take days to arrive in trucks from states like Florida and California.

これはWalmartのHeritage Agricultureというプログラムの一貫だそうだ。今まで数日かけてトラックで運ばれていた作物をローカルで調達しようとしている。

The obstacles for both small farm and big store are many: how much a relatively small farmer can grow and how reliably, given short growing seasons; how to charge a competitive price when the farmer’s expenses are so much higher than those of industrial farms; and how to get produce from farm to warehouse.


Walmart knows all this, and knows that various nonprofit agricultural and university networks are trying to solve the same problems.


a ruthlessly well-run mechanism can bring fruits and vegetables back to land where they once flourished, and deliver them to the people who need them most.


記事では、オーガニックな食材を扱うWhole Foodsとの商品の比較が詳細に行われていて面白い。そのWhole Foodsはつい先日、非常にグレーな有機栽培表示方針を報道されている。消費者としてはWalmartであればWhole FoodsであれNPOやファーマーズマーケットであれ多くの供給者が競争することは大歓迎だろう。