Sabtu, 15 Agustus 2009

[] The Power of Supermarkets and Changing Attitudes

has posted a new item, 'The Power of Supermarkets and Changing Attitudes'

More and more concerns have been raised about the impact of the supermarket
giants both on food production as well as on workers rights. A recent report by
War on Want and the British GMB, investigating the case of Wal-Mart (ASDA),
shows how the relentless pursuit of supermarkets of the lowest possible prices
has a negative impact on the supermarkets local communities as well as their
suppliers, often based in the poorest countries of the world. A few years ago,
the supermarket retailer Safeway (now owned by Asda AKA Wal-mart) sent letters
to their farmer suppliers asking for a contribution of ?20,000 per product line,
in order to improve marketing of the products. They went on to invoice their
suppliers for these sums. Supermarkets have tended to only do business with the
largest scale suppliers at the lowest cost wherever they may be located. Next
time you go to the supermarket take a closer look at the food labels, you will
see New Zealand lamb and vegetables from Israel. But this is not what most
shoppers would choose - when asked, they say they prefer British farm food.
Supermarkets are moving towards this as many are now offering vegetable and meat
box schemes stocked only with local and often organic food. Many small firms
have spent years building organic box schemes and organic delivery into a viable
business only for supermarkets to jump in on the act as it becomes more
mainstream. Britains supermarkets are damaging British business, are bad for
consumers and bad for the environment. Farmers and consumers are paying the
price of its uncontrolled expansion here and overseas. MPs must act now to curb
the growing market power of supermarkets and ensure that Britains booming
supermarket industry does not kill off farmers, consumer choice and the
traditional British high street. The UK Competition Commission has been called
upon to look at the actions of supermarkets which many say are damaging almost
everything that they touch. Tesco controls nearly one third of the UK grocery
market, setting the standard across the retail sector. But while the company
boasts about its commitment to fair trade and corporate responsibility, a new
report from Friends of the Earth shows that Tescos practices are putting many UK
farmers out of business; while on the high street, some 2,000 independent stores
went out of businesses in the last year alone, unable to compete with promotions
and planning and taxation policies which favour the multiples over smaller
shops. One in five people think that supermarkets are most influential when
planning decisions get made, over the council or local people. Often people
cannot get obtain planning permission to build an extension yet the supermarkets
are often granted permission to build huge stores the size of football stadiums
But, things are changing for the better- Supermarkets are trialing having
tractors deliver goods straight to the supermarket door to save on food miles.
Tesco are installing solar panels and using renewable energy in certain stores
to show how green they are becoming. Waitrose has started its own fair-trade
scheme. The cash has been raised as part of the food retailers initiative to
return a sizeable proportion of profits it earns on sales of citrus fruits to
the farmers who grow them. Ikea is to become the UKs first major retailer to
regularly charge customers for plastic bags, to try and tackle waste and
environmental damage. The success of Marks & Spencers ethical marketing drive
that urged shoppers to "look behind the label" has dwarfed all its previous
advertising campaigns, according to research from a leading City brokerage.
Supermarket Sainsburys is to sell more than 500 of its own-brand products in
compostable packs instead of plastic as it seeks to cut packaging waste. It says
the scheme, already trialled on some of its organic range, will save 3,550
tonnes of plastic a year. Is this a genuine change in attitudes by the
supermarkets or merely a change in public relations direction to ensure they get
all the green pounds that tend to be spent in local markets and shops? Ill let
you decide. About the Author Davinos Greeno works with the Organic directory
http://www.guidemegreen.com This growing green products directory lists 100s of
Organic and Fairtrade food and drinks companies plus Green Jobs at
http://www.jobs.guidemegreen.com and Campaigning Videos at
http://www.videos.guidemegreen.com

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