This is where I am torn. This thing is, slow food movement is more than just eating regional and seasonal foods, it's about returning to community. Having a sense of community and maybe offering this product to people who wouldn't usually seek it out is the way to go. At the same time, how does that improve our sense of community. Farmer markerts are lovely places to go. In fact, I make a point of going in a large metro city because it brings me back to my roots and gives me an opportunity to talk to my suppliers one on one. Find out how their families are, if they are going to be trying anything new this year, maybe even make some requests of my own. I couldn't imagine getting that same experience going into a walmart, the very place I vowed never to go.
But it is funny that you mention goat cheese. I grew up in Alberta and we had this small goat cheese farm in a little town just outside of Edmonton. My father and I would go there once a month to pick up cheeses. We just loved her product. Anyways, a couple of years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine that is a corporate chef with a large hotel chain over here and he was telling me about this woman's cheeses he started carring. She was voted one of the best goat cheese makers in all of North America. Low and behold, it was the woman that my father and I use to go to. She closed down because she couldn't handle the quantity, she cut corners, the wrong corners, and her farm was exposed to ecoli. She tried to open again about a year ago, with us all cheering, but her product just wasn't the same. Maybe it was the goats, not her. Here's my point, and it's a pretty cheezy point - excuse the pun.
The North American society -- Canada included -- constantly thinks more is better, bigger is better. Most people don't even know what artisan means anymore. We do not perfect our product, instead we look at how much money we can make off of it. I too work for a living and I have managed to do quite well for myself but I have never sacrificed my integrity of workmanship to gain an extra buck. If we expand something that needs love and attention, we may find ourselves missing that one ingrediant that makes it special. Pride.
I'm not torn anymore, I don't want this. There had got to be better ways to help the farmers besides just you and I supporting them.