Some believe that globalization is the progression towards a single, better world society. Others see globalization as the undermining of national sovereignty and citizens' rights, in favor of the economic interests of gigantic transnational corporations. Where do you stand? Here's a pop quiz:
What is globalization?
___ A. Globalization refers to a world characterized by greater and friendlier interactions among peoples and nations, where folks are happily trading with one another, exchanging ideas, sharing quaint customs, traveling to and fro, equally enjoying the boundless prosperity which comes from "lifting barriers" to free and full expression of human wants, human aspirations and money flow.
___ B. Globalization is the relentless movement towards corporate ownership of practically everything: Goods, services, water, air, health care, education, ideas, art, genes and body parts. It is about the "Rule of Law,"and therefore, the military power of the US and its allies doing the bidding of giant corporations. Globalization will lead to the end of human rights.
Regardless of your answer, you are going to have to deal with globalization one way or another. The forces underlying globalization are here to stay: Mass communications, the lowering of trade/political barriers, increased ease of travel, the Internet, popular culture and the increasingly widespread use of English as an international language. Many believe that business must deal constructively with globalization or perish.
New department: "Global connections"
As the petfood industry becomes more global, it makes sense for petfood manufacturer associations worldwide to communicate regularly. It makes sense for them to work together to facilitate trade and to deal more effectively with regulatory, political and public relations issues.
For these reasons, Petfood Industry will start, in our July issue, a new department called "Global connections." It will highlight news, opinions and advice from petfood manufacturer associations worldwide.
Recent trade association meeting
This past April, Petfood Industry magazine hosted a trade association meeting and reception in Chicago. Attending were several petfood regulatory experts and official representatives of several petfood manufacturer trade associations.
We asked them these questions:
What are the most difficult challenges for your petfood trade association? (see Table);
What are the biggest opportunities for your trade association?
Do you think the petfood industry should increase efforts to globalize petfood regulations? (all said "yes").
These are the questions we will continue to ask all petfood trade associations on a regular basis. Their responses will generate the content for "Global connections."