New eco market to challenge supermarket duopoly

\NewRecently over 70 people crowded into the Friends of the Earth (FoE) bookshop to learn more about the innovative Eco Market project that promises to create a truly sustainable alternative to shopping at the supermarket.

Friends of the Earth

MEDIA RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 5th, 2008.

new eco market to challenge supermarket duopoly

Friends of the Earth has revealed its latest campaign to challenge the dominance of Australia's supermarket duopoly.

Recently over 70 people crowded into the Friends of the Earth (FoE) bookshop to learn more about the innovative Eco Market project that promises to create a truly sustainable alternative to shopping at the supermarket.  Cam Walker, FoE Campaign Coordinator told the crowd that the first outdoor Eco Market is planned to launch  this December at the Elsternwick Primary School with approved stallholders selling the majority of the product lines found in a supermarket.  The Eco Market won't be the place you shop before you go to the supermarket for the toilet paper and toothpaste, it will be your one-stop-shop to replace your supermarket trip altogether.

Every product and service on sale at Eco Market will aim to be a ‘best buy’ in terms of environmental, social and ethical outcomes as defined by Friends of the Earth.  Each stallholder will carry information about their products to help customers understand the environmental benefits of shopping at their stall.  Walker said "Eco Market is about much more than selling products, it’s about giving the public a real alternative to the unsustainable supermarkets.  It is also focused on educating the community about the issues and problems behind Australia's current food and grocery system and how to make ‘an informed choice’ when shopping".

Guest speakers Giselle Wilkinson, Founder of Sustainable living Foundation and Dave West, Founder of The Boomerang Alliance gave the supermarkets a serve, describing them as greedy, unethical, relentless, unacceptable and the most disreputable sector of corporate Australia.  Their examples of deplorable supermarket behavior complimented those that were recently aired on the ABC Four Corners program titled "The Price We Pay" (screened 1/9/08) where a raft of discounts and rebates highlighted the supermarkets’ abuse of market power.

If the Melbourne Eco Market is successful, the concept will be rolled out across other major Australian cities to provide a real sustainable supermarket alternative.  Whilst the Eco Market isn't going to put a major dint in the big supermarket chains overnight, it will help build the movement that forces them to dramatically reform their practices to be more in line with values that respect producers, consumers and the environment. 

Further information can be found at
www.foe.org.au/sustainable-food/activities-and-projects/the-sustainable-...
Audio from the Public Information Event can be found at
http://www.foe.org.au/resources/audio-centre/Eco_market_info_session.mp3...

For further comment contact:
Cam Walker or Mara Bonacci
cam.walker@foe.org.au , mara.bonacci@foe.org.au
Friends of the Earth Melbourne
03 9419 8700

Alternative contact:
Martin Pritchard
0403 440 996
pritchardmartin@yahoo.com 

Images from the Eco Market Information Session can be found at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30468727@N03/ 

Friends of the Earth
www.foe.org.au 

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