New efforts in Brazil to expose regulatory plight of farmers everyday people

Brazilian farmers are looking at increased burdensome regulations that will make it harder for them to continue producing the food that many rely on. New regulations proposed by several members of the Brazilian Congress call for “plain packaging,” which would ban the use of advertisement in product packaging. In response, Consumer Choice Center (CCC) recently opened a new branch in Brazil to fight these detrimental policies.

The new plain packaging laws, specifically targeting tobacco products, would remove all the advertising aspects of a product’s packaging.  Instead of alluring colors, fonts, and images, the new regulations seek to deter the customer by replacing the more appealing packaging with boring, unappealing colors and labels.

“Several bad policies that would harm consumers are currently discussed in Brazil,” says Fred Cyrus Roeder, managing director of CCC.  “Banning brands of consumer goods, restrictive labeling laws for food, and banning pesticides…make food production much more expensive in a country that heavily relies on its agricultural sector.”

Roeder has argued against brand restrictions in the past, writing that, “in a market economy, brands enable competition and diversification of products and services. The more we limit brands the more we move to a grey, collectivist, and unfree society.”  CCC also pushed back in Europe against similar regulations that would “eliminate all forms of marketing of any products to which a broad range of children are exposed.”

CCC has already established successful partners in Europe and North America; the CCC Brazil branch opened on Aug. 1. It is working with the youth-led Students for Liberty Brasil to demonstrate the harm caused by these policies. Together, they hope to encourage Brazilian citizens to fight for a freer agricultural sector.

“We are about to launch a campaign in Brazil on why brands matter and how a dystopian world without brands could look,” said Roeder. “This will include a stunt of repurposing a grocery store for a day and only displaying plainly packaged goods with large warning labels. We are fortunate to team up with Students For Liberty Brasil and tap into their expertise on grassroots activism and local knowledge in Brazil.”

These regulations on farming and packaging are hurting everyday Brazilian consumers and farmers, hopefully, the work of Consumer Choice Center and Students for Liberty Brasil can help change that reality.



About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.