Resistance from the local: Consumption in difficult times

The health situation in the world today is a consequence of globalization. This last concept dominated much of the beginning of the 21st century. Today you may not hear so much, but it resurfaces from time to time in the analysis of the causes of the pandemic. And it is true that thanks to the international travel of thousands of people that occurred until the beginning of the year, the virus managed to spread throughout the planet.

Globalization has also allowed us to enjoy satisfactions such as being able to eat seasonal fruits all year round and having simultaneous premieres of series and movies. Before, with the so-called friction of space, products and services took time to get from one place to another. In other cases, the exchange was not possible and it was solved with local solutions or missing what could not be consumed due to distance and time.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall (whose anniversary was remembered this week) and the rise of a world led by a single country, trade took an unprecedented boost. However, the cost to pay in many cases continues to be paid these days. For example, almost all of us remember local brands with nostalgia and that today no longer exist after being absorbed by transnational brands. At best the local brand survived solely as a souvenir.

At some points on the map, people opposed the so-called mundialization from the local: giving preference or even exclusivity to what was produced in the immediate space. This in order to protest those changes that some considered a risk for a dignified and healthy life. It is also true that this position did not occupy a central place in the market and most people welcomed the improvements with encouragement.

However, it seems that the dream turned into a nightmare. The opportunity to enjoy everything from everywhere at the same time is the cause that we are locked up at home and witnessing an economic situation of great proportions. The solution goes back to the position of the first opponents of globalization. And many are already realizing it.

In the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: «I feel It’s almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat.» More so now that the situation has been long and there is no near end date in sight.

The sense of belonging to a place goes hand in hand with this immediate solution. Knowing that the neighbor, friend, relative or worker that we have known very well for a long time is supported with our purchase is part of the therapy that the market needs to survive this health contingency and can also be the starting point to redefine how consumers and their suppliers are related.