After decades of unbridled economic growth, China’s worsening air pollution, cost the country $112 billion in 2005 in lost economic productivity, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Climate Spectator.
I only received this staggering news yesterday, why they quote the 2005 figure in 2012, I am not sure, but if this is true, we can expect the situation to be worse today. There is no doubt, the Chinese people are paying a high environmental price, to the be factory of the world.
No wonder China is buying massive tracks of farm land in Australia, to provide ongoing food security for their people.
The economic contribution to a community of, fresh air, pure water, and good food is immeasurable and the contribution to personal health can be literally be a life and death matter.
In a world trying to snythesize stuff to meet our every need, we have lost our way in managing the value of our natural assets. What was once ours for free, a birth right, is quickly becoming scarce commodity and a high price item.
The consumer has caught on. Products that carry the cachet of clean air, fresh food and pure water are increasingly sought after. People are not just buying certain foods for their good health, they are buying it to support the type of world they want to live in.
Despite the higher price point, global demand for organic food is unaffected by the global economic down turn.
Sales of organic food in the US now represent over 4% of all food and beverage sales.World sales from certified organic products are expected to reach US$67 billion in 2012, up from US$46 billion in 2007 and about US$23 billion in 2002, according to the peak body, Organic Federation of Australia.
The Victorian government’s Better Health channel indicates Australia is keeping pace with the US:
“the Australian organic food industry is booming; it is currently worth around $200–$250 million per year domestically and a further $50–$80 million per year in exports with an expected annual growth of up to 60 per cent. Consumer demand is growing at a rate of 20–30 per cent per year, with retail sales increasing 670 per cent between 1990 and 2001–02.”
How many sectors can match that growth rate?
Our thirst for cleaner, purer water continues to rise as well. 10% of homes in the US and 35% of businesses now receive delivery of still water to their door. While in Australia, which has one of the highest water purities in the world, this stands at 1.5% of households and 15% of businesses.
People are buying less synthetic stuff and more of our natural assets. They are buying less things and more experiences. They are thinking about the consequences of their purchases on their body, on their community and on the planet. And looking at organic food as a lead indicator for this, this is not just a trend, but a change to the foundations of our economy.
If you want your brand to keep growing, ask how it is going to tap into this new consumer mindset and their appetite for clean air, fresh food and pure water.
Hearts and Minds