Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tesco Boycott

It's been almost 4 weeks now since I've stopped shopping at Tesco and I have to say I've actually enjoyed the experience. Not only is my conscience easier knowing I'm not supporting their ethically bankrupt business, but I have really enjoyed exploring other places to shop, such as my local shops and The Unicorn. The organic box scheme is a delight, I even got a free bottle of organic wine when I signed up for a weekly box. I've been exploring farmer's markets, and stopping at every farm shop I pass and generally having a whale of a time.

Some of my readers have told me that they're trying to shop locally more and rely on the big 4 supermarkets less. That's great. Other people have asked me what's so bad about Tesco anyway? I found a great website which explains everything. Here's a quote from their homepage:
"Tesco now controls 30% of the grocery market in the UK. In 2006, the supermarket chain announced over £2.2 billion in profits. Growing evidence indicates that Tesco's success is partly based on trading practices that are having serious consequences for suppliers, farmers and workers worldwide, local shops and the environment."
If you're interested I suggest you check out the link. There's an Asdawatch website as well. Remember it's not just Tesco, but big supermarkets in general, especially on out-of-town sites, that are irrevocably destroying our local shops and therefore our choice. On the other hand, Co-op are Britain's most ethical retailer, the first to remove all GM ingredients from their own-brand foods, and with an impressive range of fair-trade products.

11 comments:

Nerd in the Country said...

Do any of the stores you prefer make a point to sell humanely killed meat?

While there are strong government regulations in both of our countries concerning the slaughter of meat animals, many slaughter houses are less than careful about the way they treat the animals. Also, life in a factory farm isn't good. (I won't go into details.)

A store that makes it a point to sell animals that were raised under nice conditions and humanely processed would probably do well.

Chickpea said...

We eat very little meat. Ed and Tom are vegetarian, and we all eat vegetarian food unless there's a party or something. I'm sure the last time I bought meat to prepare myself was at Christmas. I've never asked about the conditions of killing it, I've never thought about it before. It's quite hard to get meat that has been humanely reared. British people seem mainly interested in how cheap it is, quality isn't a big feature.

Fenny said...

Over here in Sunny Dav we don't have a lot of choice. There is no greengrocer, only the market on Tues & Fri, which is usually packed up by 3pm. I have just about given up on Tesco, but that leaves me with Waitrose or Sommerfield as the only alternatives unless I drive 10 miles to Rugby.

Chickpea said...

Hi Fenny. In places where there's no choice you have to make the best of what you have. Tesco do sell a huge range of organic and fair trade goods, and I hear they are about to bring out their own range of ecologically friendly cleaners, and are also launching their own organic veg box scheme. If any of those things float your boat then Tesco is a good place to take advantage of them. If you are concerned about food miles, for example, or Nestle, or whatever then Tesco have a wide enough choice that you can avoid them. And if you are bothered by anything Tesco does, e.g. their aggressive landgrabs or their unfair treatment of producers, then as a customer you are well-placed to talk to the manager of your local shop, or write to head office complaining about it.

I didn't write this to make people feel bad about where they shop, just to make them think. If what they think is "What a load of codswallop" then that's fair comment, and if what they think is "I agree but I have no choice" then that's fine too. I shopped at Tesco without thinking at all for years but recently I decided I did have other options and I would prefer to take them.

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