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The growth of supermarket chain outlets has been the reason for a sharp decline in smaller produce and food outlets and ‘corner shops’ in suburbs and towns across Australia. The only specialist food shop that is on the increase is the organic food outlets.

When the small food retailers are lost from an area, more is lost than choice of outlet. The natural interdependence of small retailers, producers and consumers creates a dense social network that provides employment, quality organic food and wider social benefits. These shops are often the social centres of some communities, and many have a bioregional focus.