The South African supermarket chain Pick n Pay opened this store in Lusaka, Zambia, two years ago. Local small-scale farmers can prosper by supplying stores like these. But if supermarkets bypass them in favor of cheaper and more reliable imports, their livelihoods can be threatened.Gretchen L. Wilson/Homelands Productions Supermarket chains are jockeying to serve millions
Gretchen L. Wilson
Gretchen L. Wilson is a freelance journalist who covers globalization and global inequalities, economic development, and social entrepreneurship. Since 2004, she has reported from southern and eastern Africa for American Public Media’s Marketplace. Her reports also have been featured on CBC News, France 24, the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, PRI’s The World, Slate and IRIN news, and she has been a regular news analyst for CNBC Africa. Gretchen is co-author, with Beulah Thumbadoo, of the book “From Dust to Diamonds: Stories of South African Social Entrepreneurs,” which profiles innovative civil society leaders in South Africa. Prior to becoming a journalist, she was a founder and organizer of the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, the first labor union for “new economy” workers in the United States. Gretchen holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and multiethnic studies from Bard College. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Gretchen lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband and two small children and spends her spare time reading, practicing new words in Zulu and wiping baby food off the floor.
Supermarkets could be a ticket out of poverty for millions of poor farmers. But there’s a lot of work to do first.
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