Passata – the costs and who can afford it

This costs 80p in my local supermarket in the UK, less than a £, maybe a US$ at some point in currency exchange. It’s their essential range but at 80p they are still making a profit from it. Made from Italian tomatoes that have been sieved removing the skins and seeds it is then placed in a glass container and shipped to the UK unless the process is based on the tomatoes being shipped to the UK first in some other container. If so was it reusable? Either way there’s a lot of resources and energy used to get a value product for the consumer to buy. So there are a lot of resources and energy being used to bring this passata into my home but at what cost to the environment? Then there’s the question of the economics. I can afford to buy it but there are millions of people in the UK even who could not and the UK represents <0.1% of the global population. So would this product ever be “affordable” in terms of human labour, resources and environmental costs for all of the 7.8 billion humans who would like to consume it? If we take the Ethiopian clothing workers, earning roughly 80p a day, to fill our high streets and internet with cheap environmentally damaging tat, it is clear that our economic models are completely wrong and that unless the price was a magnitude cheaper that they would never be able to enjoy passata.

Author: Paul Noël

Author of books for children. Eight published so far and working on several others.

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