I’ve just finished doing my online shopping with Tesco and once again I felt a bit saddened as I pressed the ‘order’ button. I really don’t like shopping with them, or any of the other supermarket giants for that matter, but needs must. I’m just not able to get around the shops easily enough to do my shopping at the market and in local, independent stores so Tesco it is.
Richard’s good. He goes to the local butcher to buy most of my meat and often dashes all over town looking for something in particular that I’ve asked for, but I can’t expect him to rush about doing my fortnightly shop that way. Or even send him off on a more regular basis, for that matter. He has his own life, too. And anyway, I couldn’t even get everything locally if I tried - there just aren’t enough independents left.
The trouble with Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and the likes is that they’re ruining local economics. Farmers can barely afford to survive on the prices they’re paid and with the giants selling about 70% of food in the UK, they don’t have a lot of choice other than to sell to them on their terms. Local businesses are pressed out of the market leaving our towns filled with clothes shops, mobile phone shops, and other ‘chain stores’. There are few independent grocers, butchers, bakers, or candlestick makers left. And apparently, for every superstore that opens there’s a job loss of around 200-300 thanks to the small traders and their suppliers being put out of business. Is this really what we want? Has the convenience really been worth the consequences?
As well as their suppliers, they pay their floor staff a pittance. Let’s face it, the minimum wage is NOT a decent income. Whereas an independent store owner and his staff are merely making a living, the supermarket giants sweep up our money and pack it off to the shareholders, far away from the local community. How much money do the Walton family have? More than £100 billion, that’s how much! (In case you don’t know, they own Wal-mart, which Asda is part of). Just how selfish are these people?
Sure, they all like to be seen to be doing their bit for the environment. They offer to recycle our plastic bags and our local Tesco even has a wind turbine to provide the energy it uses but they still over package their products, and they still pay their suppliers and employees far too little. And they still import too much food. And they still deliver my shopping with some carrier bags containing just one item!
Apparently, Tesco are now considering removing their logo from their trailers because, with the rising price of fuel and the ever looming oil crisis, they don’t want to be seen on the roads too often. Crafty devils!
Still, my shopping will no doubt arrive safely and once again I’ll have been part of the problem rather than the solution. Sigh….