Sir; re: the DTI floating a van share idea for home shopping retailers (The Grocer, July 1, p8). Forgive me for a display of naivety, but I find it extraordinary that a government department is effectively acting as an unpaid consultant to the multiples. The advice given was to investigate sharing e-commerce delivery vans, with a view to protecting rural communities. As a small rural based retailer run by farmers, I shudder to think of the difficulties we and other similar businesses would face when confronted with the combined might of a number of multiples. This is, in reality, a potential further threat to rural based businesses and communities. It could also undermine the viability of the courier businesses which do such a fine job of transporting our products to the end consumer. I welcome supermarket e-shopping for rural communities because of its efficiency, and the time it saves. I am not afraid of fair competition, but as in all things, there must be balance. Jan McCourt Northfield Farm Cold Overton, Rutland {{LETTERS }}