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S3.4.1 The Countercurrent

With graceful green letters "The Countercurrent" is written on the door of the farm shop, which sells, among other things, home-grown fruit and vegetables and handicrafts from the surrounding area. What could that stand for? I intend to ask Maria and her husband Simon about the story behind it when I will pay for my shopping.

I have been a regular customer here for years, because I feel comfortable with the small scale of their business. By shopping here, I am aware of where my food comes from and I spend my money on honest products that have been produced with care. I look forward to my weekly trip to the farm shop, which has a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

When I hand Maria my basket, I ask her about the name. "Countercurrent is a new movement of small local entrepreneurs who act in a climate-conscious way," she explains. "We have joined, because it is incredibly enriching for us to work together and exchange knowledge and experience. Together we offer an alternative to big brands and commercial chains."

According to the shop owner, there is a desperate need for a countermovement that is not about quantity, speed and cheapness, but about sustainability and quality. It appeals to me too, because I often find myself at a loss as to how I can buy something without being guilty of climate pollution or unfair trade. Such a network seems ideal for consumers who want to shop more consciously.

Maria continues: "On their website, I’ve seen that more than a hundred local entrepreneurs have already joined The Countercurrent in a short amount of time. Isn't that great? And looking at the diversity of these companies, I really believe that there is a movement going on at all levels of society."

This woman's idealistic enthusiasm is contagious. I return today not only with a bag full of delicious products, but also with a heart filled with hope. Back at home, I open my laptop. I'm curious which other local businesses in my neighbourhood are joining in with 'The Countercurrent'.