Battling Goliath:Reversing the Impact of Supermarkets on our Local Economies, Communities and Food Security
Across the United States and beyond, the food retail landscape is increasingly being taken over by large full-service supermarkets and big box chains, with small-and mid-scale independent outlets closing daily. Corporate consolidation of the food retail sector is reaching near-monopolistic proportions: currently, the top four retail outlets in the US control 42% of the market. Regionally, the trend is even more pronounced – in Southern California, for example, the top three control 63%. Lauded for their efficiency, convenience and low prices, large chains are accepted and sometimes actively encouraged by some food security advocates and local government agencies. Others view these trends with concern yet feel that the problem is intractable or that making change is too radical or unrealistic. Battling Goliath: Reversing the Impact of Supermarkets on our Local Economies, Communities and Food Security will survey how the consolidation of corporate power in food retail has directly undermined local economic health, compromised food security and access, particularly in low-income areas, and contributed to a range of other social, economic and environmental problems. It will make a case for the need for food security advocates to incorporate in their work an analysis of corporate consolidation in the food system, and will suggest a range of entry points for addressing this issue in a meaningful way for improving food security and local economic health.