At his workshop in Lewes last month, Rob Hopkins called the supermarkets ‘extractive industries’ because they export wealth from the town.
Lewes people spend about £21 million a year on food. Most of that, maybe £16 million, does still go to the supermarkets despite the growth of the Farmers’ Market and Food Market.
Rob talked about the enormous potential of diverting a tenth of those millions to local businesses. Think what a transformative effect even £2 million would have in terms of local jobs – and much of this money would again be spent locally. Spending £10 in a local shop is worth £25 to the local economy because of local re-spending. And local food shops employ three times as many people for the same amount of turnover.
It is possible to obtain virtually all food needs in our local independent shops and markets. And price need not be a barrier for many people – the Food Market recently compared prices of some basic items, which were similar or cheaper.
For information sources, a guide to local food shopping and the Food Market price comparison see www.transitiontownlewes.org news section.
There must be enough people in Lewes who could make a substantial shift, and we have some lovely independent food shops and markets.