Sometimes a healthy dose of reality is in order. I’m not a huge fan of Walmart, we do have one in a neighboring town, we shop at when it fits. My wife, who loves to cook, often gets bulk ingredients at a distant Sam’s Club as well. In short, I suspect we are like your average consumer, Walmart is a business, they supply stuff, sometimes we find that stuff worth buying. But what caught my attention was a very short blog post this morning by an economist I’ve come to respect. He headlines with “Walmart adds 125 new jobs every day in March“. I have no comment on whether that is a good or bad thing, plenty of pundits out there with commentary on that. Even a comment on his blog within ten minutes of the original post jumped all over the loss of small business jobs that happens when Walmart moves in. The message I want to leave my readers is this.
My stats say that you will have found this post via social media. And if you pay any attention there, you may believe that Walmart is on it’s way out, that its hated, despised, and is responsible for all manner of evil. That may or may not be truth, but this one thing we know with certainty: WALMART CONTINUES TO GROW!!!
Once again, I am indifferent to Walmart’s success or failure. But as a growing, successful, very large business, who is a massive player in the sales of groceries in this country, Walmart should matter a lot to you as a farmer. Now, Walmart isn’t the only way, the neigherberhood farmers market, maybe the polar opposite, is also a rapidly growing feature of the food landscape. So you have very divergent views of the process of getting food from the farmer to the consumer. As someone involved in the production side of that food, you will be best served by ignoring a lot of the hype that exists from all those pushing their various agendas, and focusing on what is important to you, your business, your job. Consider what approach fits best with your production system, knowledge, and desire, and than stay laser-focused on supplying the best possible product to the market you choose.