Sunday, 14 April 2024

Alternatives to the supermarkets

ACCORDING to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the UK now imports 40 per cent of its food (1). At the same time, food prices have already risen more than six per cent over the last year (and may later increase by ten percent). And this is at a time when oil prices are pushing prices up – seemingly on a daily basis. At this rate, how long will it be before some of us can’t afford to eat?

Surely it’s time to start reversing these trends before it’s too late.
At the moment far too many people live in flats in cities and towns with no access to gardens, allotments or any open space. That’s why we’ve got ourselves in the situation whereby 75% of the food we buy comes from four massive supermarket chains – Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

In an ideal world, as many people as possible will own their own homes and land. They will have enough land to grow a fair proportion of food to feed their families. Smaller, family-run farms should make up the rest. We should cut imports down to very bare minimum.

That’s our dream.

However, it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a long-term task. For starters, the multinationals who own the big supermarkets will not take it lying down! They’re not going to give up the basis of their economic power without a fight.

So what do we do in the meantime?

For starters, we should put pressure on local authorities to allow people to use common ground and unused land to grow food on – either individually or on a co-operative basis. We also need to support independent stores, farm shops, farmers markets, veg box schemes, and the like. Home growers should also be encouraged. Even ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ could be considered.

Anything has to be better than bowing down to the corporate might of the supermarket.



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