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The People's Supermarket

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by anon468, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Anyone watching this? Finding it fascinating stuff and Arthur is my new hero!
    modelmaker, this is a must watch for you (Channel 4 @ 8 p.m. - watch it on catch up).
     
  2. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Although, I have a feeling your blood pressure will go through the roof when you see Arthur gathering the food for his dinner party...

     
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    What a great idea! Thanks manashee, I watched it this morning.
    The thing that comes across to me, quite apart from the concept of challenging the big 4 supermarkets is what it will do for the local community. I hope it turns out to be a success.
    I had a look at their website where viewers have been adding very positive comments and asking for one in their area. http://www.thepeoplessupermarket.org/?p=193#comments
     
  4. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I'll go on to add that innitiatives such as this will make far more of an impact on the environment than any hare-brained scheme dreamed up by Government who have done absolutely nothing to prevent the supermarkets generating tons of waste.
    Somehow, I don't anticipate the People's Supermarket will be packaging apples in polystyrene.
    Making people part of the process from the purchase of the goods in the shop through to the sale of them and subsequent purchase will help them stop and think whether they really need to have identically-sized vegetables and mis-shapen parsnips must be avoided, and the chemicals applied to the crops to achieve what nanny Tesco thinks is best.
    Involving people in using up goods nearing their sell-by date by cooking them and turning them into food that's sold in the shop is a great idea. Far better than dumping it.
    There's another aspect I find appealing. The people that would be part of a supermarket like this are less likely to be the dregs of humanity I often have to shop with.
     
  5. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    How will that get round the Food Hygiene laws? I didn't see the programme, so don't know what was involved.
     
  6. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    I'm glad you enjoyed the programme, modelmaker. There's more to come next week, so I'll be interested to see how Arthur gets on.
    This uses the original concept of the Co-op and takes it that bit further. My father worked in retail management for the Co-op (from the early 50s until 1976) and was very proud to be part of an organisation that was 'by the people, for the people'.
    I think personally that the Co-op has moved too far from it's roots and is now little more than another player in the game, albeit one with a more altruistic approach than others I could mention.
    Agree wholeheartedly with your comment about the environmental impact of such initiatives. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the haul of goodies that Arthur and his helpers rescued from the bins. The wine alone - oh my good grief!!!!!!! That amount of waste is absolutely criminal.
    I detest being forced to buy pre-packed fruit and veg in supermarkets, but we no longer have a greengrocer in our local town and I like to buy fresh every couple of days, so I only buy a small amount at the weekly market. It also drives me nuts that the supermarkets only supply those plasticky translucent bags to pack your loose fruit & veg in. Whatever happened to good old brown paper bags? Much better for keeping your purchases fresh and fully degradable/recyclable to boot!

     
  7. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    All the food that Arthur 'rescued' and subsequently served up at his dinner party was checked and passed as fit for consumption.
     
  8. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    You really should watch the programme lapin.
    Arthur, who's baby it is, is a chef with a chain of his own restaurants so I would imagine, will be meticulous about doing things properly as far as food hygene is concerned.
    There's nothing wrong with using up perfectly good food coming towards it sell by date instead of dumping it as the big boys do. Nothing wrong in using up food with damaged packaging that would deter people from buying it. Instead of dumping it, they cook it and sell it as something else. Organic waste they have is composted and used to grow vegetables locally they then sell.
     
  9. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

  10. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    It's a great idea, however, I can't see it working, long term.
    The success of supermarkets, especially the massive out-of-town ones is largely based on the convenience of being able to do virtually all of your shopping in one trip.
    People will see the idea of contributing money to fund stock purchases and working there to subsidise prices as inconvenient.
    Whilst I'm sure most on this forum would be very happy to contribute to something like this, I'm afraid that the general public would run a mile. I can't even think of any of my colleagues who even make the effort to buy fish, meat and bread from small suppliers or veg from a farm store. They all want convenience, and wouldn't be willing to participate in anything like this.
    The other thing I found odd was stome of the ranges of food stocked. 'Just Juice' being one that glared out at me - in other words, cheap, mass-produced concentrate sugary ****. If they're trying to cater to the masses in terms of the stock, then they're onto a loser - people who like the mass-produced **** are only interested in price, and you'll never beat the giants on price with this stuff.
    The only way might be to sell good quality, fresh produce by local suppliers, as then you'd at least capture the sort of clientele who'd be up for something like this.
     
  11. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Interesting to see that a similar venture seemed to be thriving in New York though, nick.
    I think it's down to the right attitude and energy - two things that are distinctly lacking amongst the lumpen proleteriate of our fair isle, it has to be said.
    Tend to agree with you re the range of food stocked, but I think he's trying to appeal to everyone at this stage and get a broad a range of people buying into the scheme. Like you, I'm not sure that this will work long term for all the reasons you outlined.

     
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    True, but consider also that it was in Park Slope in Brooklyn, possibly the hippest neighbourhood in the hippest borough of the hippest city in the world!
    A place like that would only ever stand a chance in the very trendiest part of London. Nowhere else.
    Nail on head.

     
  13. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I can understand where you're coming from nick, I was a bit cynical about the idea too and for the same reasons when the programme began but having had time to think about it a bit more, I think it could survive for a while.
    Firstly, taking a radical step in the way consumers purchase is a big enough factor to get people's head round. We saw the negative views some people had being expressed. Radically changing what they buy at the same time and it's doubtful they'd get any customers at all. My expectation is that this supermarket isn't just an experiment but that it's far bigger intention is to raise awareness, ultimately to persuade the big players to change their ways. I expect that in the coming editions there will be an even greater focus on green issues.
    Next, the supermarket is located in the centre of London. Where are the local farm shops within our cities? Where does anyone seriously concerned about what they buy, cook and eat shop within a city centre? Supermarkets pay lip service to "organically produced food". The only reason they do it is to demonstrate they are not ignoring its existence, but they charge at least 50% more for it and they don't let on that many of the other things they sell would also satisfy the rationale for being "organic".
    It's a matter of slowly educating people they don't have to just accept that what's on offer is all there is. I am eternally grateful that a small group of people were dismayed how keg beer had taken over the country by the time I was old enough to enter a pub and campaigned to promote the diverse range of real ales we now again accept as far better. Beers with character and distinction like fine wines. Who would have ever believed a bunch of **** artists could take on the breweries and make them change their ways? Not only this, as a consequence, countless micro breweries now exist with their own interpretations of what a good beer should taste like.
    You won't see any ales from micro breweries on the supermarket shelf though, any more than you'd see the specialist cheese someone devoted to their craft makes on the major French Supermarket shelves.
    I can see I'm starting to ramble on about a subject dear to my heart, and like I anticipate the programme director thinks. Pass the message on in small doses or it won't sink in. I shall refresh my wineglass, have a smoke, see if the dinner's done yet and await another poster's comments on the shop.
     
  14. I thought this was going to be about the co-op...

     
  15. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    2nd episode tonight at 8.00. Apparently, the Council fines them thousands of pounds for their marketting policy, and a war breaks out among the members over middle-class concerns over organic food and air miles versus frozen chips and cheap brand neccessities of the poorer members.
     
  16. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Thanks for the reminder, modelmaker.
    I'll have to set my video (yes, I'm still in the Dark Ages - no Sky+ for me!) as my 'friend' has informed me she will be phoning me at 8.00 'for a gab'. Which will consist of a 45 minute one-sided 'me, me, me' monologue whilst I occasionally interject words that indicate I am listening with interest.
    *sigh*
     
  17. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Hey...you're quite 'with-it'! ...I don't even have a video recorder! I watch a programme when it's on, or I miss it!
    I like the idea of the 'people's supermarket' but can't really see how it would work.
    Back in Crudsville, the people would be looking solely for cheap frozen nuggets and oven chips. (Plus cheap alcopops and cigarettes if the supermarket offered them). It wouldn't matter how cheap the fruit/veg were, they wouldn't be of interest. Can the people's supermarket really work in a community where Lidls is seen as 'classy' shopping? Where people feed themselves from tins from the pound shop? Where there are two or three families who share a frying pan?
    Here, on the East Coast, the main problem would be Tesco. They have already driven out Somerfield/Waitrose and a number of small independent shops too. So far, Marks and Spencers is the only other player to be able to stay trading. Tescos drove out Waitrose by opening a new store just across the street from them and running it at a loss until Waitrose gave up and closed down...after which Tesco prices shot up overnight.
    I've circled the programme in my TV Times - which is how I remember what I plan to watch!
     
  18. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Oh ho there has been a running battle going on in our town since Tesco landed in September. To cut a long story short (and it's still ongoing), the bus routes have all mysteriously been changed to massively favour Tesco above all the other retailers, to the disadvantage of many bus users. There's absolute Hell on about it!
     
  19. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    A favourite ploy of Tesco....I have posted about a similar occurance here. There was a local consulatation which voted for keeping the old bus-service...and for some strange reason the council went with Tescos plan to take everyone who wanted to go into the local market on a detour to the 'big' Tesco before going into town!

     
  20. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    I remember you posting about that, Beth. It amazes me that they get away with it, TBH. One wonders how many cash stuffed envelopes have been proffered under the table to facilitate this... [​IMG]
    When you're as big and rich as Tesco I guess you can get away with almost anything!

     

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