Foreigners Cry Foul: Unsustainable Prices at Rio +20 Sustainable Conference

Sustainable Brazil Expo Food prices at the Rio +20 United Nations Sustainable Development Conference are being considered unsustainable by many foreign delegations, mainly those from poorer countries. A meal of some kind, rather than a quick snack, in the area around Riocentro or the Parque dos Atletas is hard to come by for less than 30 reais (US$ 15). 

That will get you chicken stroganoff Brazilian style: it comes with rice and French fries. Any kind of beef will cost more: probably at least 48 reais (US$ 24).

On the other hand, “special” sandwiches will also be in the neighborhood of 30 reais: ham and brie cheese, or salomon, for example.

Celebrating the occasion with a bottle of wine will set you back 46 reais if the product is Brazilian. An imported wine starts at around 95 reais.

Niko Urho, from Finland, said that paying 20 reais for a hamburger and fruit juice was more than he would pay for the same thing back home.

Thomas Musukutusa, from Zimbabwe, complained that paying 3 reais for a cup of tea  was three times what he would pay in his hometown. “The prices are very high. Something should be done,” he moaned.

Shen Changkun, a student from China, was shocked when he had to pay 20 reais for yakisoba. “Very expensive,” he said. “Double what I would pay in China. I am a student and do not have much money,” he said speaking for all students.

An Israeli diplomat protested that there did not seem any sense to the prices. Asking not to be identified for diplomatic reasons, he said the sky-high prices were harmful to poor nation representatives. “Somebody is making a lot of money here. They could charge less and make a lot more people happy. The price of coffee is triple the price in Tel Aviv.”

The solution seems to be a mini-market in the food court where a package of four cookies or crackers cost R$ 0.99. Hot dogs cost around R$ 5, a piece of cake is R$ 3.25 and a tuna sandwich is R$ 7.

If you are thirsty, mineral water is R$ 5, a coke also R$ 5, fruit juice R$ 6 and a cup of espresso coffee R$ 4. On the other hand, it is possible to buy an apple, a pear or an orange for R$ 1. Bananas are going for R$ 0.50.

An official Rio+20 T-shirt, made of organic cotton and recycled PET bottles cost a untropical cool R$ 127.

ABr

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