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Throughout the Western World, fresh and home produce markets are fast disappearing. People’s markets are not being ousted by progress but by having to compete unfairly with corporate supermarkets. In the past, each community open-air fresh produce markets proliferated. Most villages and towns boasted their multi-stall markets at which local farmers, workshops and even smallholdings could sell their fresh home-produced produce. Here one would find a third-generation barber or shoe smith too. There were butchers whose locally produced fresh meats sustained the local economy.
How many know that 7 million Americans died of hunger-related illnesses during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Similar numbers were lost in Europe. Tellingly, most of the victims were city dwellers priced out by the food stores and who had no access to open markets. Much of rural America survived. Some self-sufficient towns and villages were unknowing of the ravages of the Great Hunger on their fellow Americans.
The situation began to change with the advent of supermarkets. Around each regional market grew several large stores. Competition is a good thing, but, according to the leaders of the markets, globalist regimes are deliberately destroying markets and small grocery stores.
A Latvian market owner explains: ‘Everything was done to make it impossible for the farmer to bring his meat to the market. A lot of requirements from the veterinary service. And certified slaughterhouses, and delivery to the market only in refrigerators. Only very rich farms can pay for all this, and there are few of them in Latvia. It has got nothing to do with EU standards? No, their peasants can safely continue to butcher carcasses in small slaughterhouses and deliver them in small cars. According to market traders, there are similar troubles with vegetables.
Evidence of the state favouritism towards corporate-owned business and to the markets, the leaders of the latter also call the number of checks: there are much more checks in the markets and in small family-owned shops. A market is a place of national trade. The small peasant cannot sell his produce to the supermarket chain.
Many countries like Latvia are where the more developed countries like Britain were in times gone by. Local communities are much more dependent on locally produced products and services. There are many small self-sufficient farms that grow something only for themselves, their relatives and friends who have no need to visit supermarkets. Now, in the sector for private trade, sellers of their cottage cheese, butter, sour cream can be counted on the fingers of one hand. What can we say about the outlying markets in housing estates?
The situation is not much better with fruits and vegetables. In the summer, at the outlying markets, there is usually a queue for a local farmer who sells his own products and who is personally known to buyers. The director of a once-popular market says he travelled to dozens of districts within a radius and met with market owners who sought help from the Minister of Agriculture. Result?
We have been fostering the idea of creating a peasant centre in the market for a long time, says Mr Azers. Small producers, farmers cannot enter large networks. Without government assistance and at their own expense, they finished the pavilion on the market, purchased and installed refrigeration equipment, and trained sellers.
All conditions have been created: bring products, negotiate, act. They even went so far as to allow free trade. They wanted to give the farmers an opportunity to unwind so that they would have a buyer. It turns out that the markets have really become obsolete but is there enough in the supermarket?
Where in a supermarket can you find locally produced goods? Where else can you find such a selection of fish as in the market? It is no coincidence that, despite all the troubles with covid-certificates, on other days there is a sea of people.
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New chains are coming, markets and small shops are leaving. Because the goods from the farmer are more and more difficult for them to find. And what is available at the trading bases, you can buy in the supermarket. Yes, even at a cheaper price. In general, they ruined everything good with their own hands …
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Categories: Current Events