Is it possible to reach a mid-point in matters related to freedom of trade and fair trade?
The National Poultry Congress of Panama was held a few weeks ago. It is an event that perhaps few people know about because the poultry industry in this Central American country is small, yet the congress has already celebrated its 29th edition.
The event's content is focused precisely on the poultry producer and those who work in the poultry industry. It is not by chance that they try to match it with the Poultry Producer Day.
Panama is a small country, famous more than anything for its canal. It is a country that produced 108 million chickens and 698 million eggs in 2017, but it imported 12,324 tons of chicken from the U.S.
This country also has at least three large fully integrated poultry companies, with traditions that are longstanding. Integration goes as far as chicken fast -food restaurants, something that many other large Latin American companies have not even come close to doing.
However, the buzz of this Panamanian Congress was fair trade, what Panamanian poultry farmers demand from their authorities, and therefore, importers and exporters. What are they looking for? They want all poultry producers treated the same way, and that the same requirements should be applied to local producers and importers.
We all know that money is money. But perhaps there should be some control so that everyone enjoys its returns. I'm not just talking about the Panamanian case. It is the same everywhere. Here, the issue is the small size of its industry, but it is important to remember that also the poultry industries of larger countries have been affected by unfair international trade pressures.
I agree with free trade and free enterprise, but how far does freedom go without affecting others’ freedom? What happens in terms of a country's food security? Is there any middle point? Are there any ethics?