The Better Business Show, in association with Triodos
A couple of years ago, the Transition Towns movement carried out a piece of research called the Economic Blueprint to explore how and where people were spending their money in the town of Totnes, in Devon.
It found that £20 million was spent in the town’s two supermarkets on food and drink every year.
In comparison, people spent £10m in the more than 60 independent food shops in and around the town.
The research showed that relative to retail spend, the local food outlets actually support three times more jobs than supermarkets. This trend is mirrored down the food chain, with those producers that provide for local markets employing on average 3.4 full-time jobs compared to the regional average of 2.3 per farm.
Staggeringly, it said that if people could be encouraged to shift just 10% of their food spend away from the supermarkets, it would bring £2m into the local economy.
Supermarkets are no good for local communities. According to this week's guest, around 95p of every £1 spent in a big supermarket leaves the local community.
The spat last week between Tesco and Unilever, which saw the former refusing to stock the range of well known products of the latter due to a price dispute, reminded us once again what a complex, difficult and – let’s face it – brutal market supermarket retailing can be.
From the way supermarkets treat their suppliers, to the wages being paid, to the interaction and engagement with local communities.
And against this backdrop, it makes the subject of this week’s show all the more fascinating.
Imagine taking on the supermarket fraternity at their own well-trodden game. And then taking a completely different approach to the supplier-customer relationship - one that is built on transparency, openness and fairness.
Ruth Anslow, one of 3 directors of HiSbe – which stands for How it Should Be – including her sister Amy – spent 15 years working for suppliers to the big supermarkets in the UK. She saw the problem first hand. But she also saw a great big opportunity to create a new model for supermarket retailing, fit for the 21st century.
Enjoy the show.
Triodos Bank is our partner on the show for the month of October.
As part of that, we thought it would be a great idea to check in with an organisation of which Triodos is a member: the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). It is an independent network of banks and banking cooperatives from all around the world, who share the same values – the values we have been discussing with Triodos – that shared mission to use finance to support positive economic, social and environmental impact.
To find out more, have a listen to Marcos Eguiguren, the GABV's executive director.
And get involved in the conversation via social media using #BankingOnValues.