Why Don’t We Want a Tesco?
Tesco and big supermarkets generally have adopted a model which is good for short-term gain, making money for distant shareholders. Unfortunately, this is bad for sustainable economic growth, drives out local business, undermines workers rights and damages the environment.
Local Economy: A thriving local economy feeds off itself with money being re-circulated between different trades and businesses. This sustains a diverse range of jobs and enterprises. The money spent in a Tesco would go one way, out of Stokes Croft and out of Bristol . To grow a resilient local economy Stokes Croft needs independent local business that buy their products and services in Bristol. (The Plugging The Leak project by the New Economics Foundation is great if you’re interested in this issue.)
A Fair Deal for Producers: Supermarkets have a history of slashing the price they pay suppliers under the banner of serving us cheap food. Often our food isn’t actually that much cheaper and this behaviour is mainly about increasing their margins. The end result is farmers and suppliers struggling to survive. Often they get bought out by bigger businesses willing to disregard issues like fair trade, deforestation, and workers rights. Tesco are now strongly fighting the introduction of a supermarket watchdog that will stop unfair practices.
Playing Dirty: The big supermarkets have become increasingly devious with their marketing giving us the impression food is cheaper than it really is. A couple of tactics that are hard to spot: price-cut campaigns on high-profile products that coincide with a net increase of the price of all their goods; price flexing, changing prices up and down over a number of months so customers don’t know whether they’re getting a bargain or being ripped off – generally its the latter. This article sums up a few underhand supermarket ploys pretty well.
There’s loads more info at Tescopoly. Watch this space for events in Stokes Croft where you can find out more and debate the effect supermarkets have on everything from our diets to the way our cities are planned.