Supermarkets? A series asking what farmers think

Supermarkets? A series asking what farmers think

Supermarkets and supply chains are under increasing scrutiny. So we decided to ask the farmers we work with why they choose not to participate in the commodity food system facilitated by supermarkets.

Together with these farmers and our customers, we’re part of an alternative food community with different priorities from the supermarket system. But 'alternative' and 'different' generally means more effort and less certainty.

So why do these farmers opt out of a dominant, commodity-driven system? (Why, for that matter, did we?!)

We're posting the answers here on this blog as they come in and while the responses so far are as unique as the farms, common themes are already apparent. This isn't surprising and you might wonder why we're even asking the question, given the nature and practice of these farmers. What's the point?

Well, partly it's because we should be hearing from farmers - all farmers - more than we do. After all, they grow the food that keeps us alive and manage the landscapes that harbour the critical biodiversity on which we depend.

These days, most of us don't know much about growing food and managing landscapes. But if we're outsourcing food production, we should at least understand the differences between food systems and what we're supporting when we buy food. 

So, asking our farmers why they don't work with supermarkets is a way to illustrate and compare the different food systems - one based on profit for a few at the expense of many, or the other based on sustainable ecosystems. It helps consumers to decide if the supermarket system is preferable, desirable or warrants their dominance?

And, when it comes down to it, it's also about supporting these farmers and the alternative that they and we present. If you don't want the supermarkets to be the only ones left standing, then you need to support us and eat their food!

We’ve been sourcing whole, pasture-raised, heritage-breed meat and poultry from sustainably-managed, local farms since 2006. Together with these farms - and you - we’re part of an alternative food community intent on opening up the line of sight from the consumer to the farm and back again.

We think that matters. And it definitely tastes better!

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