Monday, 8 January 2007

Making Sustainable Consumption & Production Work in Developing Countries: The Role of Eco Labeling, Environmental Claims and Market Surveillance

(Presentation by Uchita de Zoysa, CED to ISO/COPOLCO Workshop: How can environmental standards help promote sustainable consumption? – May 2006 Malaysia)

A Dutch intern in Sri Lanka wanted to have a banana. So he went to the
nearest boutique and asked for a banana. The vendor asked how many
kilo’s. The intern was confused and repeated how much is for a banana.
The vendor was more confused. He said Rs.35. The intern (white man)
was furious and asked why he was being exploited. The vendor now
was more confused. He could not put together this mystery as he was
genuinely trying to help the white man. Lucky for both, there was a
young English speaking local who inquired from both parties as to what
the dispute is all about. Once realising the gap of communication, the
mediator could not stop laughing. He then explained the issue to the
vendor. The vendor started laughing too and offered a single banana to
the thoroughly confused foreigner and said “Free of Charge”.

• This is a story of a growing divide in the Sustainable Consumption &
• Production paradigm.
• This is a story of a North-South divide in the process of organic produce and
• eco labelling.
• This is a story of a fair trade divide value addition and right of the common
• man (whether consumer or producer).

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