More proof that Wal-Mart is not the devil.
ThinkProgress reports on the company’s initiative to reduce use of fertilizer. They stress how the free market is now taking over functions that used to be performed by the government:
Daniel Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture who also spoke on the panel at the National Food Policy Conference, agreed with Festa that Congress’ role in driving food policy might be waning. “More and more, farm policy is going to be done by other people,” he said, “by Wal-Marts, retailers, and cooperatives.”
When Glickman was Secretary of Agriculture, he remembered, conversations about farming in the United States were dominated by commodity crops and a singular focus on productivity. Today, he says, that’s beginning to change.
“There are more and more people interested in diversity of food, local food, organic food,” he said. “We’re going to be less dependent on what the national government does every five years.”
This is a bonus that we get from our dysfunctional government. They have not been able to regulate fertilizer use, or come up with any agreement on any environmental or climate related anything, but they also have not been able to legislate it OUT of the hands of private companies.
So Wal-Mart will now force its suppliers to reduce fertilizer use. Note, this is a big win for the company in terms of dollars – they will undoubtedly require a price cut equal to a large percentage of the cost of the fertilizer that will be saved. They get money, AND they get to look like the good guys. And maybe they are actually being the good guys.