Shoppers revolting against the dominance of multi-national supermarkets are planning to open and run their own so-called “people’s supermarket”.
More than 200 Cardiff residents have already shown interest in the proposal and organisers have begun the search for shop location in the city.
The scheme was inspired by The People’s Supermarket, a social enterprise launched in London last year and featured in a Channel 4 documentary series.
It is essentially a food co-operative, owned and run by the people who shop there. The store sells fairly priced food largely sourced from local growers.
The idea is to wrestle some of the control away from the big superstores by putting the power back into the hands of local shoppers and growers,
A Cardiff version of the scheme is now being driven by local ethical chef, Deri Reed.
“Our aim is to create an alternative to the supermarket, full of wonderful Welsh produce that is run by people who live in Cardiff,” the 25-year-old said.
Deri set out his vision to more than 30 people, including university lecturers, students, labourers and civil servants, at meeting on Thursday night.
It’s likely the Cardiff People’s Supermarket would be operated in a similar way to the London store.
There, members pay an £25 annual fee and volunteer to work in the store for four hours each month.
In return, they get a stake in the business, a say in how it is run and receive a 10% discount off their shopping in-store.
At least 500 people are needed to launch the venture. The subscription cost will be determined by the number of volunteers and the cost of renting a store.
As well those volunteering their time to work in the shop, between five and 10 full-time and part-time employees will also be needed.
Deri said the now-closed Pulse Wholefoods store on King’s Road, Pontcanna, or the Old Laundry in Penylan were among four possible sites being looked at.
It’s hoped food producers at Cardiff Central Market and Riverside Farmer’s Market will be among the suppliers.
“It seems like we are being taken over by the big supermarkets, everywhere you turn you have got a Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons,” Derri said.
“By offering food from local producers it will be better for the environment and help the local economy – it tastes better too.”
In addition, surplus food that would otherwise have been wasted will be used in a “people’s kitchen” and sold at lunchtime, under the plans.
Check out The Ethical Chef website for more information.
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