Do Lectures 2011 – The People’s Take Over

Yesterday for our third post in the Do Lectures 2011 series we encouraged you to Start Where You Live. You never know quite how far you will travel. In the case of Welsh organic salt company Halen Môn their unique local product ended up at the White House in Obama’s favourite chocolates. Now that we’ve made a start and we’ve got some momentum let’s look at where change can take us with The People’s Take Over.

Power to the People
We heard yesterday that Michael Kelly’s dissatisfaction with his supermarket stocking Chinese garlic lead to him starting the Grow It Yourself movement. That’s one response to the dominance of supermarket culture that we feel powerless to change. Another response is The People’s Supermarket founded by chef Arthur Potts Dawson. So what does a local supermarket run by the people look like? Well the answer is 1400 owners of a food store that cost £28 000 to set up, rather than a projected £1.3 million. It means that these co-operative shareholders give 4 hours of their time a week to run the supermarket and that local sourcing of the food they sell is the norm.

As their mission states: “Our intent is to offer an alternative food buying network, by connecting an urban community with the local farming community. The Supermarket is a sustainable food cooperative that responds to the needs of the local community and provides healthy, local food at reasonable prices.”

The Importance of Being Disruptive
In his talk Arthur, who started Acorn House and the Waterhouse as experiments in sustainable restauranting, explained that after 25 years working as a chef he was looking “for answers he couldn’t find elsewhere” in his quest to help people become “intimately connected with the whole cycle of food.” Out of The People’s Supermarket he’s now looking to start the People’s Kitchen where all the waste food from the supermarket is used to feed the community. “I’m excited by and very interested in alternative disruptive technologies,” he says, “I’m always looking for new challenges.”

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Hello, my name is Dayle. I am a designer of both print & web, as well as an advocate of positive social change. My goal for this blog "Nice deeds, by nice people" is to use the internet as a tool for good. My focus is on inspirational stories about individuals, groups and organizations that are making a difference in the world we live in. Please take part in the conversations, or submit ideas for stories. By reading, getting involved and spreading the word through social mediums, you can help bring attention to the issues that we all face today.
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