by Eric Burkel
Without actually achieving that holiest of grails, sustainable development, and without going doing the path of ascertaining whether Mother Earth really needs more development, sustainable or otherwise, a world-leading auditing firm outside Paris opened its doors yesterday at lunchtime to host an event to offer up a few solutions that might help its employees reduce their environmental footprint.
For my part, it entailed representing the Paris-area network of AMAP (known as CSA in the English-speaking world, or AMAP). I went asunder, cloaked in the certainty that this movement, a strong proponent of direct-channel distribution, was a no-brainer (locally-grown seasonal organic fruits and vegetables, and what-have-you).
To my great surprise, the grandest expression of interest for AMAP did not come from those most able to afford the added cost of eating locally and healthily, namely the executive ranks, who were all too busy and self-absorbed to stop by and get information on how small changes in their every-day behavior can pay back big environmental dividends.
It came instead from those lower down the totem pole, who appeared to better grasp and understand that such locally-based initiatives can, and indeed do, make a major difference and help to change our mindset about combining healthy eating AND providing clear social and environmental benefits.
Now that is a holy-grail moment: a WIN-WIN situation!
Needless to say the battle continues, and though we have our work cut out for us, we WILL prevail, namely by wearing them down.