When I buy fruits and vegetables in a small grocery store at the corner, I cannot help myself but think that—coming from the idea that "Small is Beautiful"—if I do my shoppings in these kinds of stores, then I do good for sustainable development.

These are my thoughts:

  • "Look at this small shop owner"
  • "Look at these imperfect fruits and vegetables. They look different than those from the big supermarket"
  • "Hmmm, but why are they so cheap?"
  • "Ultimately, where do these fruits and vegetables come from and how are they being produced? Are they actually the same as those found in the supermarket?"


1 Answer 1


I understand the approach of helping smaller stores, and it is already a good idea to stop supporting these big supermarkets that already own a lot of shares.

Now it depends on the location of your store, but on your picture are a lot of different fruits. All these fruits have to be transported in some way, some more than others.

If the store is focused on bio and fair trade products it is of course a good idea. But if it is a normal store without any focus on sustainability, you're again supporting some bad conditions in different places of the world with your purchase.

So talking about the same fruits just from a smaller store has only one difference:
The smaller store can't buy quantities of product like a bigger supermarket, and this leads to worse price conditions. Items in a smaller store are more expensive than in a big grocery. It's great, to support a smaller store with people from your place, but imho, nowadays a food store needs more love and focus on the nutrition itself and not a very very big selection.

I am sure, a smaller market owner is also working differently with food and maybe wouldn't throw away in amounts like big supermarkets. So regarding this fact supporting a local store is a very nice idea.

  • 1
    Thank you! Interestingly from my experience, often these small shops offer fruits and vegetables cheaper than the bigger supermarkets.
    – orschiro
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 7:05
  • This is interesting. My post is also from the point of view of the economy part. It doesn't have to be always cheaper on a bigger supermarket. But in the end this would be the only benefit of a bigger market because it can provide more for cheaper ( in common )
    – XandruCea
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 13:01

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