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Are Small Businesses More Ethical?

June 21, 2013

To read comment sections in articles or forums, there is a vast difference in big business and small business – much like small farm/large farm.

Many say that small farms – and businesses – are more ethical and honest but that may or may not be true. If someone buys to resell, is that being honest if they don’t tell you?

We all like to deal with ethical companies. No one likes to be taken advantage of, whether it’s for a pound of tomatoes or an investment bank account. Some things larger companies have more access to volume to bring the price down –  a factor for many.

When we buy a computer, or a car or many other things we use daily we seek value, often without a lot of thought to their ethics. They aren’t in our communities donating to the hungry or coaching kids at softball games. We wouldn’t think of a car from a company that wasn’t corporate – one built in someone’s garage. The larger, reliable companies offer a known product.

The same can be said for food. There are food choices around us. When we buy as close the source it finances those small operations, and sometimes larger ones. We tend to take food personally – it’s in our homes and feeds our kids. We don’t want surprises, and yet food is not a sterile item. We can’t disinfect to customer’s satisfaction all traces of germs on it. We can lower it as much as possible, but not eliminate.

Talking to farmers, buying as close to the source as possible if that’s your choice both contribute to knowing who benefits from your food dollars. If you shop at the grocery store, someone still grew it. It followed the same regulations and roughly the same path, but with a few more stops along the way.

What matches your ethical quest? Choose accordingly!

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