Off Your Trolley

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The supermarkets and big brands have given up on us, so maybe it’s time we returned the favour. They didn’t care about our well-being so why do we care about theirs? We’re inviting people to give up supermarkets for Lent (Wed 13 February – 30 March).

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In the last few weeks we’ve seen the processed meat industry exposed. It’s totally out of control and the companies that make vast profits from this system seem to be hiding behind their outsourced suppliers. Where is the traceability and accountability in this system? This week the problem spread to chicken and pork products. But no-one is being held to account and weeks in we seem to be no nearer discovering how this happened. It’s time for a real change.

Joanna Blythman has written:

“Why this crazily long and complicated supply chain, when British beef is world renowned and widely available? Blame the supermarkets. They bang on about offering best quality and supporting British farmers, yet when they put out to tender specifications for convenience products, they won’t pay a decent, realistic price for them. So, to secure their business, food manufacturers come in with the lowest price then figure out how to make the sums add up, usually by reducing costs. In this race-to-the-bottom system, it makes commercial ‘sense’ for food processors to bypass higher quality, UK-based suppliers, and buy for less from lower cost countries, using a series of sub-contractors. This is why, for instance, much of the water-logged frozen chicken used in supermarket ready meals is imported from Brazil and Thailand, and why North Sea prawns caught by UK trawlers are sent to China for shelling. This globalised buying system not only encourages fraud and adulteration but also presents opportunities for it.”

Let’s support farmers, local shops, small retailers and help demand real change. Use your farmers market, farm shop, local fruit and veg shop, your butcher, your fishmonger or fishvan, your high street baker,  take up a veg box, eat local.

Are you Off Your Trolley?