In order to confront the challenges of rapidly changing world conditions we need to build Community Resilience.[edit | edit source]
The promotion of local production by micro and small businesses will lead to job creation and revitalisation of local economies. A fundamental change in society could take place, from being big business driven to being community driven.
Low carbon footprint production and consumption, ethical business practices and living sustainably should be a priority for everyone.
To confront the effects of peak oil and climate change the whole community needs to be motivated not just those who are presently engaged.
EcoMart is a practical way to bring about change in these areas
The plan of action is...
To set up community owned supermarkets or neighbourhood shops selling local produce, goods and services.
EcoMart will promote...
LOCAL production, business, and economy - money is retained locally.
SUSTAINABLE goods, services, employment, community initiatives and individual lifestyles - small carbon footprint.
PRODUCER-BASED pricing - profit to producers not middlemen.
EDUCATION about sustainable products and services - transport miles and business practices.
INTERACTION with EcoMart supermarkets in other localities for distribution of surplus goods and services.
How will this work?
- The plan is to form a network of EcoMart supermarkets or warehouses supplying local stores, which will be owned by incorporated community organizations with the above aims. These will be run on a low profit basis which will be returned to the community for resilience building. National support teams in IT, procurement, sustainability evaluation, education and marketing will be formed to provide services for the local EcoMarts.
- In practice the EcoMart retail outlets will procure a range of produce, goods and services with the emphasis on local from the EcoMart warehouse, making neighbourhood shops more competitive with the major supermarkets and encouraging people to shop in their own neighbourhood.
- A community-owned distribution system will be developed for local products, keeping prices to a minimum by charging only a small levy to cover running costs.
- Sustainability ratings will be displayed on all goods and services offered for sale and used to inform and educate consumers.
- All producers, manufacturers and service providers will be asked to perform a self-assessment in relation to the goods and services they provide. Compliance will be verified at random and enterprises will also be encouraged to improve their sustainability rating on a continuous basis.
- A computerised stock and accounting system with producer and consumer interface will be core to the operation. On bringing goods to the warehouses or direct to retail outlets, the producer will enter his/her preferred price and a minimal levy will be added for running the EcoMart warehouse, EcoMart national support teams, and for community benefit. In this way the producer controls the price. If the goods do not sell he/she may alter the price or retrieve goods.
- The goods are labelled with a bar code (linked to the computer database) indicating price and sustainability rating of the product or service. The consumer may check product and enterprise information via the bar-code on any product using an in-store information terminal. At point of sale, reading of the bar code results in electronic payment to the producer at the specified price.
- EcoMart warehouses will be networked so that excess goods can be transferred according to local, regional and national demands.
- Goods from other centres will have lower sustainability ratings due to distance travelled, type of transport used and storage requirements. In this case, increased levies will be charged at point of sale.