Fundamentally it is about choice. Small scale producers, independent shops and food outlets or supermarkets. We need to consider what the future of food shopping will look like if we allow supermarkets to dominate.
Supermarkets favour global sourcing, bulk buying and centralised distribution. They are systems based and process driven. Any commitment to local produce is skin deep at best. The reason for this is their operating model. It will always favour the big producers. Similarly, at a structural level, supermarkets are not equipped to deal with the short shelf life and fleeting availability of artisan produce. The reason for this is due to their distribution methods. Hence, smaller production runs also cause difficulties for supply chains.
This means that if we only shop at supermarkets many if not all of our smaller scale food producers will disappear. This is because supermarkets deem their produce unreliable, inconsistent and trivial in terms of turnover. Rather, they favour the convenience of large scale production.
What would it mean if there were no more small scale producers, independent shops and food outlets?
First of all, we would lose our ability to choose.
Furthermore our eating patterns would be dictated by the purchasing power of the supermarket giants. And that would be a very narrow focus. So, think! All that diversity gone similarly all that food tradition and heritage lost for future generations. Finally, all that local and seasonal bio diversity left behind.
We love interesting food! We like hand made gluten free sausages, dairy churned butter, artisanal cheeses, rare breed meats, hot spicy home made biscuits , unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables. And we like choice. And if we want to preserve choice then perhaps its time to make a conscious effort to buy some of more our shopping from the small scale producers, independent shops and food outlets that are equipped to provide the choice. Let’s celebrate diversity!
This is a way of lending support to food producers. We can support those who want to maintain local knowledge and traditions. We can support those who want to offer something affordable and different to eat. Furthermore our towns will stay vibrant. Choice will prevail. We will be able to eat local and seasonal produce. And keep the world turning!
Keep bio diversity alive. Support your local small scale producers, farmers markets, independent shops and food outlets and don’t lose your right to choice.