Am I the Only One Who Thinks This is Nuts??

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario
http://actvra.in/FXF

Is it just me, or does this seem silly to anyone else?

I was shopping for groceries last night when I noticed a product that was stocked in the aisle where I buy my drinks. The name leapt off the shelf and lodged into my brain immediately.

Fiji water. Surely it's just the name of the product and not actually water from Fiji, that would be ludicrous wouldn't it?

I picked up the bottle, turned it around, and sure enough this product is actually from the Fiji Islands. It says right on the bottle that this water comes from an artesian acquifer in the Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu. 

It seems like it's a pretty popular product, there was evidence on the shelf that many cases and individual bottles had been purchased.

I live in Ontario, and here are some pretty neat facts about Ontario;

 

Population:
With a population of more than 12 million, Ontario is home to one in three Canadians.

Size:
Ontario is Canada’s second-largest province, covering more than one million square kilometres (415,000 square miles).

Land:
894,639 square kilometres (344,092 square miles).

 

Water:
177,398 square kilometres (68,490 square miles), including 250,000 lakes and about one-third of the world's fresh water.

Thats right, 12 million people in Ontario share a full one-third of the entire world's fresh water supply.

One would think that there should be absolutely no demand for water from Fiji in Ontario. It boggles the mind.

Beyond the fact that it's not very environmentally friendly to bottle water and ship it half way around the world, I am worried about the ethical implications and the effect that this might have on the people of Fiji. I discovered a few facts about Fiji (a place I really have never given too much thought to before), and something really stood out for me;

Fiji ranks 92 out of 177 countries on the United Nation’s human development index. With 49% of Fijians living in urban areas and only just over 50% of the rural population having access to water sources adequate for drinking.

Why are we buying this stuff? Half of the rural poulation of Fiji can't get enough clean drinking water, and we in Ontario are buying the water right out from under their feet when we have an over abundance of it here at home. God Almighty, the fact that this is on the shelves of our grocery stores really highlights how little respect we have for the environment as well as people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

This is one product I will never buy.

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chris Smith 06/28/2012 12:02 PM
  2. Susan Emo 07/02/2012 09:09 AM
Topic:
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Rainmaker
687,377
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

ha ha, that is really crazy, but you know what, I've bought it too!!!  I'm going to stick to the home grown stuff for now on.  Thanks for the eye opener.

July 01, 2012 05:58 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,594,377
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Good morning Malcolm,

I came over from Kathy's Ah-ha moment post this morning and so glad I did! You are exactly right..we just buy we don't think and certainly we are not respecting our environment or the people less fortunate than ourselves. Truly an Ah - ha moment!

July 01, 2012 06:56 AM #20
Rainmaker
996,054
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Malcolm... what may surprise you even more would be if you knew that in some of the "better" grocery stores in FiJi... they sell a brand of bottled water named "Trenton."  Of course, it is imported from Trenton, Ontario, CA... and costs $4.99.

AND... by the way... Happy Canada Day to You !

July 01, 2012 07:33 AM #21
Rainmaker
332,038
John Juarez
Prudential California Realty - Fremont, CA
CDPE, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Today’s description of Capitalism in Action:

Bottled water shipped from Fiji by a company which plans to make a profit by exporting an asset to which one half of the countries inhabitants do not have access.

July 01, 2012 07:36 AM #22
Rainmaker
540,210
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Malcolm, I rarely buy bottled water. It makes my head hurt to think about how many resources we're using up to make the plastic bottles that just get piled into a land fill or the oceans.

July 01, 2012 10:36 AM #23
Rainmaker
993,135
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I agree with you, I had no idea!  I am was a fan of Fiji water...tastes superior to any other bottled water I've tried.  And yes, I do believe I could tell the difference.  I don't buy it because it's too expensive, but I have said more than once that if I won the lottery, I would buy Fiji water.  That said....you make a very good point and out of respect for the Fiji people I will not buy the product.  I use filtered water from my refrigerator most of the time, only using  bottled  for "to-go" purposes.

I wonder....kind of playing devil's advocate....what percentage of Fiji people are employed by this company and how much they rely on this business???

July 01, 2012 11:06 AM #24
Rainmaker
447,863
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Haha Doug, I wonder what your mom would make of bottled water today?

Susan, I also think its a farce.

Kathy, it made me look up some facts about Fiji.

Chris, this type of consumerism seems very counter productive.

Sally, it just seems odd to me that there's even a demand for this product.

Wallace, it's the rust that makes it taste so good.

Dale, it's the same here, bottled water hasn't proven to be any better than tap water.

Al and Peggy, people should just be a little more thoughtful, that all.

Sheila, the Brita filter does make for tasty water.

Larry, yes, I will also buy the occasional bottle of water from a gas station on a hot day, but really only when I need to. It's more expensive than gas.

Thanks Kathy, now I know why there's so many comments on my blog.

Liz, maybe you have been drinking Jersey water for a long time now.

Carolyn, yes, we do make some silly choices.

Linda, yes, you sure were wrong, and so was I and millions of others.

July 01, 2012 12:34 PM #25
Rainmaker
996,054
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Malcolm:  Question:  Are you writing your above responses to our comments somewhere else, and dragging and dropping them into the Active Rain comment box here, and then hitting "Submit?"

The reason I am asking... is that what I just received from you, or Active Rain... is this... and I am just wondering if I am doing something wrong, of if my Gmail is messed up ?

---------------------

<p>Haha Doug, I wonder what your mom would make of bottled water today?</p> <p>Susan, I also think its a farce.</p> <p>Kathy, it made me look up some facts about Fiji.</p> <p>Chris, this type of consumerism seems very counter productive.</p> <p>Sally, it just seems odd to me that there's even a demand for this product.</p> <p>Wallace, it's the rust that makes it taste so good.</p> <p>Dale, it's the same here, bottled water hasn't proven to be any better than tap water.</p> <p>Al and Peggy, people should just be a little more thoughtful, that all.</p> <p>Sheila, the Brita filter does make for tasty water.</p> <p>Larry, yes, I will also buy the occasional bottle of water from a gas station on a hot day, but really only when I need to. It's more expensive than gas.</p> <p>Thanks Kathy, now I know why there's so many comments on my blog.</p> <p>Liz, maybe you have been drinking Jersey water for a long time now.</p> <p>Carolyn, yes, we do make some silly choices.</p> <p>Linda, yes, you sure were wrong, and so was I and millions of others.</p>

July 01, 2012 12:44 PM #26
Rainmaker
447,863
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Phil, that's not preposterous at all, it's become the reality.

Cindy, it's cheaper and tastes the same.

Dorie, thanks, it was an aha moment for me.

Karen, that scenario would make more sense since we people in Trenton have access to all the water they need.

John, that's actually what I find so sad about it. It's not sensible capitalism at all, in theory this shouldn't be happening.

Eric, you'll be horrified to know where and how the bottles used by this company are made then.

Sharon, they used to employ 400, but now it's less. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704584804575644011109095480.html

 

 

July 01, 2012 12:49 PM #27
Rainmaker
447,863
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

That's very strange Karen Anne, I'm just replying to the responses right in the box as I normally do. Maybe it's an AR glitch.

July 01, 2012 12:51 PM #28
Rainmaker
996,054
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Thanks, Malcolm... and it isn't just you... it is about one third of the notices that I am getting today from Active Rain.  And I haven't been doing anything different, either.

July 01, 2012 12:55 PM #29
Rainmaker
683,490
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

This is insane, Malcolm, and I bookmarked it to reblog later in the week.  I can't believe that they are stealing water from their own people to send it to the United States.

July 01, 2012 02:42 PM #30
Rainmaker
313,610
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Malcolm, this is just incredible. And that people still continue to buy bottled water, when it has been proven that some of the water is just another city's tap water.

July 01, 2012 10:43 PM #31
Rainmaker
656,858
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

I am the dissenting voice. I buy bottled water, and am never without one wherever I go. I do like Fiji, but not my favorite. Thanks for your post today, p.s. I hope they never stop making bottled water.

July 02, 2012 02:25 AM #32
Rainmaker
447,863
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Ron, the more I read about this situation the more ridiculous it seems to me.

Sandy, I'm not against bottled water as an industry, if people want to buy it, it's fine to me, this particular situation seems unethical, wasteful, and symbolic of how people spend their money on silly things at the expense of others.

Pamela, absolutely it's your right to enjoy whatever product you like. I'm just uncomfortable drinking water from a place where a large percentage of the locals don't have access to water, where an unelected military dictatorship sells this product to a corporate interest with very little benefit to the locals, and which is shipped halfway across the world when we have enough of it here.

July 02, 2012 08:18 AM #33
Ambassador
811,011
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I'm back . . .  It is one thing for people to buy bottled water when they are ignorant of the many reasons they shouldn't, but to continue to do so once they become informed is just another example of insanity and/or arrogance.   You've not even touched on the health consequences of the plastic bottles and the environmental damage that was mentioned in a few comments above  . . .      

I will also be reblogging this excellent post in the hope that foolish people will stop their foolish practice.  I look at bottled water consumers the same way I do smokers.  Supposedly, when you know better your actions will be better but there will always be people who feel it is their right to behave irresponsibly!

Who would have believed that some people would think water would be a status symbol?  Crazy times!!!

 

July 02, 2012 09:04 AM #34
Rainmaker
188,032
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
CRS- Your Friend/Helper for Lifetime! 808.9551577

sorry to say I have purchased FIJI water.  One morning early I drove past a warehouse in an industrial site where a company delivers water bottles to offices.  Lo and behold, I saw a guy filling the bottles from a water hose! 

July 02, 2012 09:17 AM #35
Rainmaker
808,389
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

This is hysterical. Yes, Fiji is actually pretty impoverished so why not take the water the poor people actually need? I also hope that the water has been purified before being bottled

July 03, 2012 11:56 AM #36
Ambassador
1,246,297
Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Homes in Los Angeles Area

Those big tankers crisscross the ocean with not only water but many other things we could purchase much closer to home.  I love my filtered tap water with a slice of local lemon.

July 05, 2012 03:01 PM #37
Ambassador
811,011
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Malcolm -  just read this article about major UK grocery stores selliing bottled TAP WATER  Pretty funny but pretty sad!

August 18, 2012 09:24 AM #38
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Rainmaker
447,863

Malcolm Johnston

Trenton Real Estate
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