The news from Totnes last week was a real spirit lifter. For the first time local consumers faced down a multinational and won. The threat of a powerful coffee franchise in a town of independents was very real and though the town council bent over freely for their arrival, the locals did not. When the news came that Costa had withdrawn their plan to open in the town it felt like a real victory.
It shouldn’t be such a radical idea should it? That a town contains the shops and services that the locals want. But over the last decade Tesco and its comrades have distorted the ideal. Ignoring the will of the people and placing their warehouses of doom wherever they please.
And what if they are already in your town? It is possible that people power could still be effective once the enemy has arrived. By not accepting their arrival as a permanent thing, by bypassing their electric doors, and magician-trick offers. By instead visiting the local greengrocers, bakers, butchers, whose produce is bigger, fresher, tastier and more often than not from a more local source. The difference is, these independent purveyors are working for us the customers, multinationals are working for their shareholders, and that is never good for the quality of a product.
Let’s ditch the multinationals and save our towns from generic lifelessness, find an independent cafe and partake in homemade cake.
Ludlow farmer’s market is one of the answers and is something the multinationals can’t compete with. A lively atmosphere, fresh varied produce and quality that comes straight from the passion of the producers. Let’s take a lead from Totnes and reinstate people power.
Sky Blue, temp 8c.
Time for G&T (from the local wine merchants of course!)