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Ensure ethical business practices

  • Published at 12:04 am November 16th, 2019
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

This rise is an artificial increase which has been created by middle-men

Too often, unscrupulous middle-men engage in business practices that hurt not only the producers of a product, but also the consumer through irrationally high prices.

Right now, onion prices are the talk of the town: Prices seem to have soared to an all-time high of Tk200 per kg, and understandably, people are frustrated at having to pay five times the amount they would normally pay for what is seen as a staple in our country’s culinary culture.

Nevertheless, the real victims of this crisis are the farmers, because in spite of their hard work, they are not seeing the profits that come from these higher prices, and their standard of living is not in any way improving.

This rise is an artificial increase which has been created by middle-men, who seem to be turning into a parasitic group day by day, contributing nothing of real value while only being interested in unethical profiteering.

The wholesale market continues to be largely unregulated, and this allows traders to engage in hoarding and other dishonest behaviour, and it is beyond the scope of small entities like retailers to influence any of these practices.

This is why it is so important for the government to step in.

The president of Consumers Association of Bangladesh makes a fair point when he says the government should extend a helping hand to farmers to not only increase local onion production from next year, but to also provide the right kind of loans and incentives, as well as strict monitoring, so that farmers can get a fair price.

After all, we should be encouraging ethical business practices across the board, and the onion market should be no different.