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Meat Free / Organic / Local Produce Hypermarkets?

VeggieBite ...
THE number of animals killed for food worldwide in 1998 was 43.2 billion, according to the Food and Agriculture organization.
This included: *290 million cattle, buffalo and calves *1.1 billion pigs *802 million sheep and goats *41.1 billion chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese The figures exclude some small countries and 'non-slaughter' deaths that are not generally reported.

Looking towards a radical shift in local food shopping

VeggieGlobal campaigned during the mid 1990's and earlier (via other UK publications) to raise mainstream awareness about organic foods. We gave sound reasons to buy organic as a preference and whenever possible but also hinted at the hype surrounding some of it.
The public began to pick up on the message then, and trendy as it may be, organic produce has now become widely available.

Now it's time to take the next step and we would like your feedback.
But first ...

VeggieGlobal should first point out that although this page discusses the merits of Meat Free / Organic / Environmentally friendly / Local Produce supermarkets offering the same service and shopping experience as the big name high-street-killer supermarkets, we would much prefer to see ailing shopping streets in towns and villages recover through initiatives to provide affordable local produce. We would ideally like to see empty shops come alive again with innovative ethical approaches to encourage and even educate local communities towards the benefits of healthy, ethically, sustainably sourced foods and everyday domestic items ... all locally grown and manufactured when possible. Instead of sucking the heart out of town centres by overwhelming them with giant supermarkets, let's hope for a long-term revival of the high street ... but this time around with individual businesses with strong ethical principles. The proposal below is aimed at new-built communites and cities where the socioeconomic collective of local high street shops doesn't exist.

On the bottom of this page you can register your opinion on this survey based on a few questions and leave a comment if you wish.

Some thoughts behind this proposal.

Since the surge in organic, myths and hype have emerged with the trend. Consumers can be left clueless when it comes to understanding what organic means in product ingredients. Many believe that an "organic" vegetable-based product must automatically mean vegetarian or vegan and sustainable. But just because the product is labelled organic doesn't mean it has been sourced sustainably or without animal suffering.
A vegetable-based product may be organic but might also include byproducts from organically farmed animals or fish. For example, organic wines are not necessarily suitable for veggies. "Organic" only means that the grapes used to make the wine are grown without use of chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers, but the clarifying and fining agents used during the wine making process can contain various animal derivatives including gelatin, and isinglass (from the bladder of the sturgeon fish). Cheese made with organic milk may well contain animal derived rennet.
Organic foods can also be sourced from plantations created by destroying ancient rainforests - an irreplacable, complex eco-systems.
All kinds of manufacturers are jumping on the organic ("bio") bandwagon by promoting their products as "organic" or "bio" and upping the prices, even though they may have always been made using the same "organic" ingredients.
Recent news reports also reveal that many products claiming to be organic aren't, but that issue commands a report of its own.

More info on ingredient confusion this can be found at our Ethical Labeling Campaign section ... (but vote here first if you wish and you will be linked through to our main campaigns satellite afterwards).

However misunderstood by the public, could the positive effect of the organic movement pave the way to create the ultimate environmentally-friendly shopping experience for everyday consumers?
By taking away meat and non organic products (including environmentally unfriendly products and packaging) from the shelves of an average supermarket we can still be still left with an abundance of choice. There are thousands of startup organic and vegetarian / vegan companies producing quality foods waiting to take over that spare shelf space. With major sustainable shopping outlets created, prices would drop further and would be comparable with non-organic foods. Most importantly though, VeggieGlobal's idea is to add strong emphasize on locally grown and manufactured and no unnecessary packaging - particularly plastics.
Let's make clear the big difference between "locally produced" and "locally grown and manufactured". "Locally produced" is a greenwash term; it can easily mean that a local business buys ingredients from anywhere across the world, makes something from them, then packages it as locally produced. Yes, the product may be assembled and packed locally, but it certainly doesn't make it ethically "green". "Grown and made locally" means what it says. The ingredients were grown locally and the end product was assembled and packed locally - preferably using locally produced packaging materials from a natural, sustainable or recycled source. If a locally grown /sourced manufacturer gets it right throughout the entire production process, the overall "production miles" can be reduced to a very small carbon footprint.
The supermarket we are suggesting would be free of greenwash and stock a high percentage of produce grown locally by organically certified gardeners, farmsteads and smallholders. There would be only a small stock of organic / veggie "Fair Trade" products from other countries; which, depending where you live might mean exotics such as coffee, tea oranges and bananas, coconut and spices etc., which might not grow suitably in your local area.

In VeggieGlobal's self-questioning style we also ask ourselves "WHY have a big supermarket to sell organic / meat free / local produce? ... the last thing we need is another high-street-killer supermarket in our town".
Unfortunately nearly every town community in the developed world has already become the victim of large national supermarkets, which have drawn weekly shoppers away from the high street (more closing by the day) and into their price-aggressive, easy-park-and-shop environment.  Although we offer our ideal preference at the beginning of this report to regenerate high street shops with new ethical principles, that preference is a pipe dream and probably unattainable. We can't turn back time before Tesco, Asda and the others invaded the pastoral environs of our towns. Subsequently, there may be nothing more we can do about high street mothballing, so instead we need to challenge the supermarket giants at their own game and offer consumers a truly green alternative supermarket experience with the same conveniences as the major players.

By pooling together all the food and household products made locally and stocking it in such a supermarket, it also helps ease the product miles incurred through the distribution and purchasing process; a cooperative based system which enables participating local growers and producers to truly integrate into a local economy, which in turn helps bring a sense of opportunity, inspiration and uniqueness back into so many communities that have lost cultural character and become lethargic through plasticised, giant-brand consumerism.

Overall, the country and its rural gardens could reap the natural benefits of a pesticide free environment, and consumers can enjoy healthy, wholesome products. Packaging of all products would obviously have to be environmentally friendly and recyclable - and have the least amount of packaging possible. An optional refilling service for many daily products would be in place (bring your own container).

It's also worth noting that apart from a huge vegan-based choice, this concept includes products for responsible vegetarians, meaning that dairy and egg produce will only come from small-holding animals reared completely free-range and would live their full, natural lives without stress (no-kill policy).
The proposed supermarket would not stock "organic" foods made from rain-forest destroying plantations. (Typical foods and ingredients sourced from such plantations can include palm oils and soya beans). Only organic foods grown without deforestation or destruction of natural savanna would be acceptable.

There are of course other logistical aspects regarding this proposal which we haven't gone into on this page, but we do believe that almost all hurdles can be overcome and adapted to accommodate genuine environmental and sustainable solutions, towards creating the greenest consumer shopping experience ever.


The Quick Survey Form

This is not a commercial survey. VeggieGlobal wants to accumulate a response to the above idea as a matter of public interest. Please note we will not publish your name and e-mail address ... this is for our reference only. Your information will not be passed on to third parties.

Your Full Name:
Your Email Address:
Please Confirm Your Email Address:
Your Home Country (and town would be helpful):
If a meat free, organic supermarket was as local, cheap and convenient as your current supermarket and also offered equivalent varieties of eco-friendly local produce, would you shop there instead?
yes always
Please tick your gender:
Please tick your age group
Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal safety note about on-line security and child protection:
If you are under 16 but would like to take part in this survey then you must ask a parent or guardian to participate on your behalf. All survey details are carefully administered and protected from any security breach, but we take this extra precaution for your safety.
16 to 21
22 to 30
31 to 40
41 to 50
51 to 64
65 onwards
Are you vegetarian? (remember, a true vegetarian does not eat meat or fish)
I'm thinking about turning veggie
Are you vegan?
How would you describe your everyday feelings towards environmental, animal welfare and humanitarian issues?
always compassionate
sometimes compassionate
hardly ever think about it
Based on the above question and if you have ticked "yes" to veg*n or you are thinking about becoming veg*n, then what is your main reason?

Animals are sentient life-forms that are callously exploited through mass farming / fast food commerce. It is also hypocritical to eat a pre-prepared animal, which I could never personally bring myself to kill.

For healthy eating reasons and don't want to risk getting animal diseases etc.
Because it's trendy I suppose
Do you recycle?
(i.e. paper, bottles, plastic)
What kind of environment do you live in?
urban / suburban city / town
rural country
edge of town / city (semi rural)
If you live with a partner please check one of these boxes which reflects closest to how your relationship influences you (or not) towards being either a vegetarian or meat-eater:
(leave unchecked if none are applicable)
My partner is veggie so I follow his/her example
My partner eats meat so I follow his/ her example for convenience - although I would prefere to be veggie
Regardless of my partner's preferences I make my own choices to be a vegetarian
Both myself and my partner have made our choices individually to be vegetarian
Any Comments?
60 words approx)


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