Christmas is drawing near.
I’m not writing to tempt you with Special Offers; just to remind you that in this period of economic uncertainty we should think carefully before spending our money.
What you buy makes more of a difference to Local Businesses and Farmer’s Markets than to giant corporations.
The money you spend is reinvested within your community, rather than being remitted abroad.
When you buy from local businesses you don’t just make a purchase; you develop a relationship.
As a result of the lockdown thousands of small to medium businesses in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia switched off their lights and closed their doors for the last time.
People lost their jobs; many lost their dignity.
Once upon a time, every town had a butcher, a baker and a fishmonger. What surprised me was the speed of the transformation.
I recall a TV documentary covering the opening of a small supermarket outlet at one end of London Bridge. The store manager was filmed demanding that his staff work to make sure the grocer located across the road be closed down within 3 months.
15 years go Environmental Activist George Montbiot wrote on supermarkets: “These were the most arrogant of the behemoths. They have trampled their suppliers, their competitors and even their regulators. They have smashed local economies, broken the backs of the farmers, forced their contractors to drive down wages, shrugged off complaints with a superciliousness born of the knowledge that they were unchallengeable. For them, it seemed, there was no law beyond the market, no place too precious to be destroyed, no cost they could not pass on to someone else.”
If supermarkets claim to be Friends of the Earth, do we have any enemies left?
A bird flying in a flock can fly 70% further than a bird flying on its own; animals crossing the African plains don’t walk on their own; they walk together for safety.
The same goes for our communities.
The success of the small food outlets near you this Christmas and beyond depends on you. If they still exist use your butcher, buy bread & pastries from your baker and seafood from your fishmonger; meet your friends in the local coffee house instead of the high street chain where profits go offshore.
By what I suggest, I don’t mean to restrict our patronage to local food outlets only.
Use your local sources and businesses before they become a distant memory in your town’s history.