The EU Wants to Block Romania's 51% Local Food Shift. Who Cares?

A Romanian farmer showing his plums. Amid all the mayhem and turmoil of recent weeks, here's a news story you may have missed.  The Romanian parliament unanimously passed an amendment to the country's "Law on the Sale of Food Products" bill which states that every large supermarket in the country must ensure that 51% of the fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, honey, dairy products and baked goods they stock are "locally sourced".  As a demonstration of how enlightened policymaking can unlock Transition, it's an eye-catching and paradigm-shifting piece of legislation.  But is it legal, and, actually, does that matter anyway?

The legislation has been criticised for being "very general" and "pretty confused".  It doesn't really address the thorny question of "what is local?" (a question academics have debated for years).  Does it mean within a certain distance?  Just within Romania? And what about products made in Romania but with ingredients sourced from elsewhere?  It's a tricky and complex thing to nail down but it should lead to some fascinating discussions.  It gets round the seasonal question (as in is it 51% all year around or just in the summer?) by stating that during the winter a maximum of 70% can be imported.

Read more here.