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Through their strong buying power, and dual role as both buyer and provider to end consumers, supermarkets exert a major influence over the global food supply chain. Although most supermarkets continue to source third party brands, due to private or “white” label production, the role of supermarkets is changing. Increasingly, retailers do not act as mere traders, but become brands in their own right, with offerings ranging from discounting to premium labels across a huge range of categories. In Europe, these supermarket brands reached a 40% share of the market, most often leaving consumers in the dark about the ecological and social rucksacks of these products.
This trend needs to be stopped and fortunately in parallel and mostly below the radar of the current and dominant economy, a wide variety of citizen collectives have sprung up to organize a totally separate and mostly local circuit. Community Supported Agriculture projects are booming everywhere while different degrowth alternatives to the supermarket have sprung to life in crisis-ridden countries such as Spain and Greece. Hungary is home to alternatives such as Cargonomia. We aim to bring people from the business community, civil society and research together to debate the future of the retail market in Europe, how a degrowth version would look like and what is needed to get there.
During the event we will have the opportunity to contemplate the Exhibition of the Supply Cha!nge pictures from the Food Vision Photo Contest.
Moderator: Leida Rijnhout (Director GPS – EEB)

This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Degrowth alternatives to the retail market monopolization“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.