The Big Match – Supermarkets vs. The Farm Shops!

by steve on September 10, 2011

Promoting the Local Food Directory

Transition Evesham Vale (TEV) has during August conducted a comparison between the costs of fruit and vegetables at local farm shops and the Evesham supermarkets. People often assume the supermarkets are cheaper but that is not always the case and nor do they always have the range of local produce which farm shops do.

The five main supermarkets – Aldi, the Co-op, Lidl, Morrisons and Tesco were compared with five local farm shops around Evesham – Collis’s, Ellenden, Hampton’s, Meadwell and Wayside. Most of the farm shops stocked a range of really local produce – tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, cauliflower, beans, leeks, courgettes and so on, also plums, cherries and still some raspberries. The supermarkets’ prices were slightly cheaper overall, but certain items like runner beans were much cheaper in farm shops. That was also true for plums and cherries, some supermarkets had no plums at all (in the Vale, in August!), one had them from Spain instead!

However, other factors need to be born in mind. One is that supermarkets can sell at lower prices because they buy in bulk and drive down the prices they pay to the farmers – which does no-one any good in the long term. The next is that their produce – even if sourced in the UK – has usually been transported around

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the country and built up a number of food miles. Thirdly, money used in farm shops keeps it in our local economy, paying local

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wages and local farmers, profits don’t go off into the pockets of supermarket owners and shareholders (except the Co-op where the profits are shared by the members). The result? In purely cash terms, the supermarkets by 2-1, but in relation to our local economy and the planet’s future, score reversed, 2-1 to

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the farm shops!

The Transition movement, of which TEV is a part, is about exploring a new kind of society which will have to come about as oil and other forms of energy get more and more expensive, and the effects of climate change more damaging. Those

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who are interested are invited to the TEV AGM on Wednesday September 7th, from 7 pm at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton – well known for its support of local producers. There will be a film, discussion, reports of last year’s activities and plans for 2011/2 – followed by a light supper. If you are able to come let David Haslam know on 442042 or at davidhaslam558@btinternet.com. All welcome!

Further information, contact David Haslam, details above.

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