I haven't visited The People's Supermarket.

So I can only go on the evidence presented in the first in a three-part series tracking eco-restaurateur Arthur Potts Dawson's mission to stick one to Tesco by opening a supermarket that's for the people, run by the people and owned by the people (Channel 4, 8pm Sunday). But let's just say I'm a tad dubious.

The idea sounds laudable enough. Restore life to the high street in this case in Bloomsbury with a supermarket that's the antithesis of a Tesco, one that doesn't throw away tons of food every day and isn't monopolising the high street, squeezing the profits out of suppliers or making huge profits.

Potts Dawson also deftly illustrated the downside of our dependence on the big four. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to have been affected by the plight of dairy farmer Mike, who, unable to survive on the 15p per litre he was being paid for milk it cost 29p to produce, was forced to sell up.

And although the chef isn't the first to trawl through supermarket bins to highlight the shocking level of waste, it's a message that bears repeating.

But while you couldn't fault his enthusiasm, he came across as hopelessly naive. To undercut the supermarkets without screwing suppliers, he decided to emulate US co-op Park Slope, in Brooklyn, New York, a fine-looking store that turns over millions a year and is manned entirely by volunteer members who do two hours a month.

Unfortunately, Potts Dawson expected their UK counterparts to work four hours and to pay a £25 membership fee for the privilege. That wasn't the only problem. The US doesn't have the same quality players The People's Supermarket is up against and organic doesn't come cheap anywhere.

Which is why when he opened (before he was ready because of a looming rent bill), the store looked absolutely rubbish, like something from the old Eastern Bloc. The shelves were half-empty and there was bog-all organic on offer.

Instead, we had "500 of Britain's most popular products" which, suffice to say, were neither very popular with members nor cheap. I fear it's got its work cut out.

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