Essay about Critical Analysis

1461 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 6 Pages
A critical analysis of “Cleaning up down South: supermarkets, ethical trade and African horticulture”
Alexandra Kitching

Cleaning up down South: supermarkets, ethical trade and African horticulture is a piece by Susanne Freidberg published in Social and Cultural Geography journal in 2003 (Freidberg, 2003). Susanne Friedberg holds PhD from UC Berkely and is a Professor of Geography in Darmouth College, New Hampshire (“Susanne Freidberg,” n.d.). In the article the author argues that the ethical standards have become fetishised. The UK supermarkets compliance with such standards edges on paranoia. It does not mean that the supermarkets care about these standards from moral point of view but that the compliance is driven by fear of bad
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The piece has been published 11 years ago. Since then there have been developments relevant to Freidberg’s (2003) article, making it somewhat out of date. The ethical standards have moved on, for example EUREP-GAP is now known as GlobalGap and has expanded from covering fruit and vegetables to include meat and fish (Fuchs et al., 2011). Where the horticultural exports from Africa were mostly for European and UK supermarkets at the time the article was published, exports have significantly increased to supermarkets in Asia, Middle East and Africa and decreased to the European and UK supermarkets (Goger et al., 2014). The standards outside Europe and UK are not as strict, and therefore the compliance costs less. This has led to new opportunities for smallholders who were previously unable to enter the market due to the compliance costs (Goger et al., 2014). In addition, the financial crisis in 2008 resulted in increased consumer demand for low-cost products, including food (Hughes, 2012). However, the focus on ethical standards increased in line with public mistrust in corporations. Although the “ethical trading agenda remained unchanged” (Hughes, 2012, p. 43), the strategies are no longer the same (Hughes, 2012).
Friedberg (2003) used a good number of sources as listed in the article’s bibliography (Freidberg, 2003, p.

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