I was very proud to read in the on-line versions of the Guardian newspaper and CBC website that Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen have united in an effort to achieve a break even price for their hard earned catches.
PEI lobsters are reknown around the World and the spring season has been underway for only a couple of weeks. Yet fishermen have not been told the actual price that they will get paid for their actual catches but the prices being tossed around by the buyers and processors are from $2.75 for canners to $3.25 Canadian for market lobsters which are the ones that you and I would buy in a shop for more than $8.00 Canadian dollars.
Having grown up on a dairy farm and having cousins who are still farming I am all too aware of the costs of food production and how those responsible for the actual hard work are seldom ever fairly compensated. The lives of fishermen and farmers who provide our food is a tough living. However, those who chose that way of life have a passion and commitment not found in those who chose less physical jobs of sitting at a desk all day. These people are the ones who work extremely hard from early in the morning through long grueling days with little time off to ensure that we have food when we go to a grocery store. We often never think about how the food got there and whether those ultimately responsible for the creation of it are appropriately compensated.
I am truly thankful that my mother, Marjorie raised me to be a conscious shopper and supporter of buying locally available food when possible. And that means buying PEI, not Nova Scotia or Ontario if choices are available. Yes, we happily pay more for local goods to support our communities and neighbors. Do you?
I am not an economist and the whole supply and demand chain is a complicated system that requires expertise far beyond what I possess. However, I do know that PEI fishermen are not being treated fairly! It is historic that all fishing boats have tied up and the usually very divided fishing community stands united in their fight for fair compensation. So I am asking those who read this blog to consider supporting them in their efforts.
While we may live in a global market place, our food products still happens locally. Without these local fishermen and farmers would you have affordable food on your table? I think not. Next time you meet a local fisherman please ask them how much it costs for them to actual operate their boats and make their catches. Then see what they are getting paid in comparison to what you are buying the product for. I think that if you take the time to view it from this perspective you will find it easy to support their efforts.
For those who don’t live on PEI, here is a link to local media that can give some further perspective