Green “healthy food” spokesman Kevin Hague says he has a problem with Food and Grocery CE Katherine Riches “conflict of interest” in being a member of the Health Promotion Agency which, amongst other things, promotes healthy food while at the same time heading an organisation whose members make a profit out of distributing and selling food.
He’s right. He does have a problem.
Like the numerous others who still some 5,000 years on from first ever production, do not understand what a profit is.
At the simplest level of course, people selling healthy food make a profit. The production of muesli, St John’s Wort, mescaline weeds and all things green and vegie is undertaken for profit – just like the production of pies, potatoes and steak.
A profit is the cost of risk. Risk is an input to making healthy and unhealthy food. Without that input there is no production – healthy or otherwise. Just as a car will not provide transport without fuel so a food business will not provide food without the input of risk.
The cost of providing that risk input (the risk the business will lose its shirt) happens to be called profit. Profit does not come from the devil, thin air, nasty CEs, National Party voters, Labour Party Voters, Kim Dotcon, people who with Commerce degrees rather than BAs in literature or from people who don’t like Morris Dancing.
Profit is the cost of risk pure and simple. If you want healthy food you must pay for the risk involved in producing that food. Just as you must pay for the risk involved in producing unhealthy food. The cost of that risk is called profit.
Sending Katherine Rich out of the room, or asking the Minister of Health to fire her or asking the Auditor General to dispatch her to the corridor will not eliminate the need for profit.
It might though, hinder production of healthy food because the Food and Grocery Council members know more than a little about how to manage risk and profit in food production.