“Eco” in Spain II

My last post contained some reflections on how to market eco products in Spain. And while living here, this topic will probably stay high up on my agenda. In Germany and Denmark my interest for ecological sound products never posed a problem, as there is always plenty of choice. However, in Spain it is not as easy. Ecological food is already a challenge, and for other products (apparel, furniture, decoration) it get’s even more complicated. On the food site, we have the paradox that the alimentary sector reports to be ever increasing the ecological production, however most of it to be exported. In Spain (or at least in Barcelona, but I suppose this holds true for other areas as well), the products are difficult to find and you usually have to go to dedicated places (e.g. Biospace, the biggest eco supermarket in Barcelona), which are stocked with German and French products to cater to an international audience. So don’t think about mixing bio and non-bio at your local supermarket (yet). Even on the local open-air market the egg lady can’t tell me if where her eggs come from. But she was very curious about hearing the meaning of the codes printed on her eggs (English or Spanish). Perhaps the problem is not that Spanish people are not interested in ecological food but rather that they know relatively little about its merits. There are no official campaigns (neither from commerce nor from the administration)  and as you can’t find it alongside your usual products, it is very unlikely that people will try out of curiosity.

In cases like these what is needed is above all widespread information for different target groups: consumer should be able to learn about the benefits (for them and the environment) of ecological food. Supermarket owners should receive information on how to include these products into their portfolio. And last but not least a platform is needed to bring interested producers and supermarket owners together. Because before we can fine-tune the message we need a basic consensus on what we are talking about. And of course, marketing can help us defining that consensus. Now I just need to find somebody to pick up on the idea…

PS: I just discovered my favorite ever only possible gift and deco shop in Barcelona: FLOW. They even sell my favorite bamboo clothing 😉

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