Opinion: 'Some rural residents complain about the demise local businesses, while shopping almost exclusively at foreign supermarkets'
Lay of the Land
Last week, I was lamenting the loss of local farmer Pat's 'honesty shop', which sold local produce and trusted the consumer to put their money where their morals are, via an old biscuit box that acted as a self-service cash register.
It closed because "we just couldn't compete" with a certain duo of German-owned supermarkets, Pat said.
"They were selling cheap vegetables that are not a patch on our own," Pat says, with a laugh. "But 'tis the money people would be watching. So we gave up."
This is a real shame, as Pat's farm has been organic for two years now, which is excellent news for the environment. Indeed, it includes a field of wild clover that the bees love.
Pat says they would open the shop again, "if enough people were interested".
Let's hope they get interested before the bees buzz off too, leaving us to suffer the sting in that tail.
This endearing enterprise fell foul of a false economy, with arguably more than a hint of hypocrisy about it. For some rural residents complain about the demise of such local businesses, while playing a pivotal part in their downfall.
For these days they shop almost exclusively at foreign supermarkets that sell ultra-cheap vegetables rather than the excellent but possibly more expensive produce of local and organic farmers. It's possible Pat's honesty shop could reopen if people were honest enough to take responsibility for their choices and cared more about their neighbours - and Mother Nature - than short-term savings.