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.