EU to Hold an Investigation into Supermarket Dominance


Cheap food doesn’t actually come cheap.  Not for some anyway.

A proposal put forward by Euro MP Caroline Lucas to hold an investigation into supermarket dominance has been approved by the European Union.  Caroline has been lobbying Brussels to examine the impacts the supermarkets have on farmers, small shops, the community, workers in developing countries and ultimately, the environment. 

She says . . . 

“There is increasing evidence from across the EU that suggests big
supermarkets abuse their buying power to force down prices paid to farmers and suppliers to an unsustainable level – both within the EU and in the developing world – as well as imposing unfair conditions on them.”
“Just this week, we have heard from the many farmers who, unable to cope
with the terminally low prices paid by supermarkets for their crops, are
giving up on growing cauliflowers altogether. The amount of power wielded by the big supermarkets is simply unacceptable and threatens the future of our agriculture industry.”

She goes on to say that the big four – Asda, Tesco, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s – all account for nearly three-quarters of all grocery shopping and that three of the big four are swallowing up almost a quarter of the UK clothing market.  As most of us already know, this has had a profound effect on small retail businesses and of course because these smaller, local shops – the traditional butchers/bakers/greengrocers – are fast diminishing, even the people who would like to remain loyal to them are left with little choice but to turn to the giants, further perpetuating the shopping trap.

As I already stated, most people are aware of the social and environmental impacts by the supermarket heavyweights . . .  food miles, car-dependant stores, store-building (eating up the land), ludicrous packaging and so on.  There’s no need for me to elaborate further suffice to say it’s an unsustainable situation and the recent approval to hold an investigation at EU levels is a positive and encouraging move.



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This is just a place to store all my head thoughts in the unfortunate event that my mind may, one day, choose to erase the lot. Hopefully m
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3 Responses to EU to Hold an Investigation into Supermarket Dominance

  1. matt says:

    Oh don’t get me started!

    I, like many people shop at the supermarkets because the local shops have been reduced to nothing. The spiral is (currently at least) downward. Do I enjoy shopping at supermarkets? No, I hate it. I actually don’t feel like I’m shopping for food, I feel disconnected. This is not good, not good at all.

    There is no banter with the shop owner, not imparting of ideas on seasonal produce available, tips on recipes and so on. There is no passion for food with the supermarket experience. The meat and produce and other goods come from mono farms, go through mono factories and we buy them within a mono retail environment. Our senses are dulled, we become disconnected from our food.

    No amount of Jamie Oliver recipe books will correct this until our relationship with food via the shopping experience, is changed for the better.

    Well done Caroline Lucas and this btw is another reason to respect the need for the EU. It alows debate to widen beyond borders.

  2. earthpal says:

    Me too Matty.

    I am in constant inner conflict with myself because I shop at the supermarket. I have to say, the people who work there are all very friendly and helpful but in a highly-trained and forced way. It doesn’t even begin to come close to homely traditional shopping of bygone days.

    When I was a little girl, I would go into town on the bus every Saturday with my mum and we would visit our regular market stalls for our usual groceries, finishing with a visit to our favourite little cafe tucked away at the back of the market. Every stall holder knew us by name and knew what we wanted and how we liked it. That same market is like a ghost town now. Bleak and cold.

  3. matt says:

    A good example of just how bad things have become.

    Our local ward has a ‘community’ website run on a platform called ‘ning’. It is only seven months old and has 300 members already. The guy who started it is thinking about giving in a facelift already and possibly changing it’s name, taking out the word ”community” and replacing it with ”online”. Needless to say I have objected strongly to the word ”community” being taken out of a community website!

    We need more of community things and less virtual experiences. And I don’t include virtual communities in that criticism. 😉 Nintendo Wii anyone?

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