HFW takes on T*sco

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Shirley
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HFW takes on T*sco

Post: #46398 Shirley
Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:07 am

River Cottage chef takes on T***o in battle of Axminster supermarkets

Esther Addley
Saturday December 9, 2006
The Guardian

He has been described as the Jamie Oliver of seasonal food, championing good quality local produce with the same enthusiasm with which his fellow chef tackled shoddy school dinners.
But while Oliver has earned millions as the face of the supermarket giant Sainsbury's, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is taking a rather different approach to its arch-rival T***o. The cook and food writer plans to tackle the supermarket head-on by launching his own food store, selling only local produce, in the Devon town of Axminster, in a direct challenge to T***o's overwhelming influence in the town.


(snip)

Approached by the Guardian yesterday, Fearnley-Whittingstall confirmed that he had been investigating potential sites, but remained cagey about the details of the project, which will be filmed for a four-part Channel 4 series to be screened next year. He did confirm, however, that it could potentially be the start of a chain of River Cottage-branded shops across Britain's rural market towns


(snip)

The move is particularly ironic because, the chef revealed yesterday, he was recently approached by an advertising agency on behalf of T***o asking him to become the public face of the company. "They even sent me a script. But it wasn't something that I wanted to be associated with. I guess it spurred me on to try to do something different."

Fearnley-Whittingstall, who writes a column for the Guardian, is an outspoken critic of unnecessary "food miles", and of the destructive influence of big supermarkets on small town high streets. "As I have grown older, I have become increasingly uneasy about what supermarkets do and how little information there is about the food that they are selling," he said. "The sheer power wielded by the big supermarkets is not conducive to a healthy food culture. I don't expect [T***o] to be falling off their feet with anxiety, but I hope I can arouse enough enthusiasm for local food that we can inch a little ground back from the supermarkets."


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Post: #46502 Chickpea
Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:29 pm

Yay! Go get 'em, Hugh!

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Post: #46555 the.fee.fairy
Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:29 pm

HFW...i love you more and more each day (shh...don't tell the blokey type though!).

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Post: #46594 Chickpea
Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:31 pm

What do you make of T***o's latest announcement, their new environmental policy?

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Post: #47364 ecojo
Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:07 am

Chickpea wrote:What do you make of T***o's latest announcement, their new environmental policy?


Think all major retialers are now going to try selling themselves as the most environmentally friendly option - the 'if you want to save the planet you must squander your money with us' route!

As much as I want things to change I must admit the word poppycock comes to mind (not sure if thats how its spelt but in my head thats how its heard)
The camping season is soon to be upon us !

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Post: #47386 Bexz
Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:38 am

ecojo wrote:
Chickpea wrote:What do you make of T***o's latest announcement, their new environmental policy?


Think all major retialers are now going to try selling themselves as the most environmentally friendly option - the 'if you want to save the planet you must squander your money with us' route!

As much as I want things to change I must admit the word poppycock comes to mind (not sure if thats how its spelt but in my head thats how its heard)


I agree.

Go hugh! :lol:

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Post: #47399 Chickpea
Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:09 pm

The M&S policy sounds very convincing to me. Jonathan Porrit advised them on it, and it seems very sound. I compared the T***o announcement with the M&S one and wrote an article about it here.

The upshot is that both policies are good, but M&S's is more all-encompassing. T***o still haven't addressed some areas where they have been criticised, such as labour issues, fair trading issues (including with domestic farmers as well as in developing countries) and anti-competitive business practices (such as buying plots of land and doing nothing with them, just to stop their competitors building on them). But then again T***o have a lot more welly than M&S so if T***o e.g. cut down air-freighted produce to 1% that has more of an effect than M&S doing the same.

So credit where it's due, it's a step in the right direction. And mainly I am delighted that we (the green-eco-hippy-organic-sustainable lobby) have had an influence on T***o's behaviour. The other "big 4" supermarkets will have to follow suit, and with luck the rest of the high street will topple like dominos. I'd love to see "ethical policy" announcements from the likes of Woolworths, Currys, PC World and all the rest of them in the future. The announcements from M&S and T***o filled me with optimism that we should keep protesting and it will make an enormous difference.

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Post: #47408 the.fee.fairy
Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:54 pm

I'm not convinced. It all seems to be a bit of a 'fashion statement' to me.
Suddenly, it has become fashionable to be 'green' and everyone;s jumping n the bandwagon by throwing the words 'environmantally friendly', 'waste-reducing', 'recycling' and anything else mentioned on forums such as these about.

Look at politics, its like they've lost the vote of most of the students, and the elderly, so they're going for the pink vote and the green vote right now, just to claw back some popularity.

IF, and that's an intentional big IF these places really mean it, then its a welcome decision, but something tells me its that advertising bandwagon and its all empty promises, or ones that are kept front of house only...

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Post: #50754 pol
Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:47 pm

Fashion statement or not, surely people leaping on a beneficially environmental bandwagon can only be a good thing if it helps the environment in any way at all. If green issues are kept underground and cliquey in small organisations, the terrifying global issues are never going to be adequately addressed. We need massive corporations and shops to flaunt their greenness and flash their 'eco' promises as it's a start - it's just that they also need to do a hell of a lot more too.

Chickpea - thank you for posting your article - great to see a more detailed and informative overview of exactly what some supermarkets are up to.
...make a morsbag.com...

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Post: #50757 the.fee.fairy
Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:05 pm

I still don't like the jumping on the badwagon. I see things like that as empty promises.
its a case of 'what's in right now...oh yes...climate change...what a buzzword..lets use it more often'. They don't actually know what they're trying to do, they just try to claw back the green side of life. And fail.

If i could believe that these promises and plans were actually going to be implemented, i'd be praising them, but i don't think they are.

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Post: #50767 Muddypause
Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:41 pm

pol wrote:Fashion statement or not, surely people leaping on a beneficially environmental bandwagon can only be a good thing if it helps the environment in any way at all...
We need massive corporations and shops to flaunt their greenness and flash their 'eco' promises as it's a start - it's just that they also need to do a hell of a lot more too.


Wellll.... I'm not at all sure about that. BP have been telling us how green they are for some time - it's jolly good for sales, but I reckon that's a pretty scary meaning of the word 'green', meself. And Tescos tell us how good for the local community they are. Range Rover will tell us all sorts of benefits that their land bruisers bring. The boss of Ryanair was on telly the other night reassuring us about how green it was to fly in his planes.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that we have to reduce our consumption, not just change the colour of it whilst consuming more. This is going to be extremely uncomfortable for us, because it will need a whole new way of thinking about this consumerism business - a lot of people are going to be significantly worse off.

Thing is, we live in a growth economy - that means that we have to keep consuming more and more, or the economy collapses. It depends upon a growing population; it depends upon us driving more cars, or taking more flights, or eating more BigMacs, or watching more TVs... The whole thing is plainly absurd, and yet no one seems to have figured out that growth simply cannot go on forever; the world is not limitless.

But no company is in business to sell us less of their product. When corporations flaunt their greeness, they must, perforce, be doing it to sell us more stuff, to meet their obligation in the growth equation. So, regardless of how green their latest mission statement is, it must necessarily be reinforcing the madness of continual growth consumerism.

I actually have a lot of sympathy for politicians at the moment - there are huge commercial forces at work that can make things very difficult for them, but somehow they must eventually confront the issue of deliberately lowering people's standard of living[1] for the first time ever. In many ways this is exactly oposite to what politics has always been about up til now, and is going to take some pretty clever political manoeuvering.

[1] By 'standard of living' I am talking about one measured purely in economic terms.
Stew

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Post: #50769 Boots
Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:52 pm

I actually have a lot of sympathy for politicians at the moment


Mmm...:?
Must be time to take your 'arfa pill Muddy.
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Post: #57901 catalyst
Sat May 19, 2007 5:28 pm

[1] By 'standard of living' I am talking about one measured purely in economic terms.


well said stew. we seem to be living in a culture that views MORE as always BETTER, without any regard for quality of life. we have huge supermarkets with aisle after aisle of the same thing, flavoured and coloured with different chemicals, and differing wrapping, but basically all the same C**P.

and whenever their is a disaster/war/epidemic GNP actually goes up! someone has to teach the economists to subtract.

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Post: #58004 Nikki
Sun May 20, 2007 5:28 pm

Firstly - go Hugh! :cheers:

The thing that stands out to me about this supermarket/big corp greening policy thingy, is human complacency.

Regardless of how much us enlightened souls include healthy sceptism in our diets, the average person is much too complacent to do anything towards greening their life. So even a little change in the right direction by the big corporations is better than no change at all.

What I mean is that despite that companies' green policies are perpetuating, "the madness of continual growth consumerism", as Muddy points out, the fact remains that people are complacent and greening on their behalf is better than nothing at all.

On the other hand, we still have an ongoing battle to educate the masses, including ourselves. Because the pretty promises will often be empty ones (but not always). We have to remember that 'green', 'natural', organic', etc, are only words. We should still question the behaviours, techniques, methods, policies, and so on, that supposedly justify the labels.

It's like 'healthy' food. How many bought into the 'low-fat' brainwash? Only to find themselves eating high sugar products. After years of education, we're stll doing it!

And a friend and I who are interested in animal welfare, were discussing how 'organic' did not necessarily mean happy critters, and 'free-range' did not mean organic, but that consumers are often lulled into believing it's all one and the same.

So 'green' is just another term we have to retain under the microscope as consumers. Whilst changes towards some greening is, imo, to be encouraged.

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Post: #58009 Silver Ether
Sun May 20, 2007 6:38 pm

the.fee.fairy wrote:I still don't like the jumping on the badwagon. I see things like that as empty promises.
.


yep me too ... I bought pants .. exciting eh ... from M&S with all their hype perhaps someone could explain why when they were in a plastic bag ... did each pair need a cardboard tube inside them ... :? = the same as four toilet roll middles ...????

oops sorry that was a mini hijack of the thread ... :oops:


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