This programme was a real eye opener!
|Supermarkets destroying our countryside|
DAIRY GO ROUNDS ,PIG TOWERS AND SLURRY LAKES
As a result of supermarket greed the US now boasts the biggest dairy farm operation in the world.This massive "dairy go round" produces 220,000 litres of milk a day.Around 8000 cows are kept in barns each in it's own pen complete with silage,straw,water and cooling fan.The cows are milked three times a day and never venture outside onto pasture.Slurry effluent is contained in huge slurry lakes and then pumped onto arable land.Once the land was saturated with slurry the effluent then contaminated rivers which resulted in wildlife being destroyed.There was also many reported incidences of water contamination which caused local populations to be poisoned after drinking tap water.This type of factory farming will be coming to Britain very soon in the village of Nocton near Lincoln.
In the Netherlands there are plans to build pig skyscrapers.The dutch are the number one pork exporters producing 16.5 million tonnes a year.Due to land shortage in Holland this seamed an ideal solution for pig farmers to meet the demands from the supermarket giants.In the US pig farmers pump pigs with steroid injections and within six months you've got a fully grown pig..."FROM SQUEAL TO MEAL".Many prominent celebrity chefs have campaigned against these disgusting factory farm methods including Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.They tried to encourage the consumer to choose free range,animal friendly reared meat and organically grown fruit and veg.Sadly sales of organic and free range products have fallen by 13% due to the economic down turn.
Due to the supermarkets screwing down prices, many small family run farms have been forced to sell up with 30 to 40% leaving the industry every month.One farmer who had a contract to supply carrots to a supermarket chain ended up ploughing his crop back into the ground after a supermarket buyer demanded he lower his price right at the last minute or he would choose an alternative supplier.This is a common tactic used by supermarkets to get lower prices from the supplier.All these buy one get one free promotion lose leaders do not come out of the supermarket profits the loses are passed onto the supplier.This puts the supermarket into a win win situation!
Every fruit and vegetable had to meet a strict cosmetic appearance regardless of whether the crop was fit for human consumption or not.So due to this ridiculous practice there is a lot of perfectly good food going to waste. An apple grower said the supermarket would only ever accept around 70% of his crop.Each apple had to be perfectly red all over, anything else was rejected.
|Empty shops now common place in the UK'S town centres|
I think supermarkets have been allowed to grow too big and they wield too much power and influence.They should have been strictly regulated and should never have been allowed to sell anything else other than groceries.The farmers and producers should have been protected by an independent commission that sets prices that are fair and sustainable.The effect on the high street has been devastating.Every town up and down Britain where there are large supermarkets the shops are closed and boarded up.What annoys me about supermarkets is they promise local businesses they won't sell anything other than groceries and then as soon as they've opened the doors then a few clothes sneak in,then a few electrical goods and before you know it they're selling just about anything.This puts the small independent at a disadvantage straight away because they don't have the same buying power as the supermarket.Tesco have now moved into the small convenience store market with their Tesco Express stores.These stores are very similar to the classic corner shop.By 2015 nearly all independent convenience stores will have shut up shop for the last time.
Supermarkets nearly always gain planning permission.They will offer councils "sweetners" to win them round like the promise of a new school or police station.As council budgets have been drastically cut ,local authorities are easily tempted by these "sweetners" and planning permission always gets the rubber stamp of approval at the end of the day!
ASDA COMES TO MELKSHAM
|The new Asda takes shape, expect mayhem during rush hour on the a350|
|Digging the foundations for the new Asda|
In the small market town of Melksham in Wiltshire there are already five supermarkets,yet the council agreed to yet another one.This time it was Asda. Nearly all town councillors where behind Asda.So what was in it for them I wonder? The council have been planning on moving the canal through the town again,this will require funding from somewhere..Asda perhaps? A meeting was held in the town hall about the new Asda in 2009,this wasn't publicised and the councillors didn't inform any of the local traders.The only way I found out about it was through a local man that takes an interest in local affairs.He informed all the local traders yet only one or two bothered to turn up.One of the objections to this new supermarket was the amount of traffic congestion it would create on the A350 during rush hour.Between the hours of 5 & 6 pm this road gets extremely busy ,this road will be mayhem when the new Asda opens for business. Another reason for building a new supermarket was it will bring new jobs to the town.An Asda representative was asked "How many of these new jobs will be full time positions?".As was expected he couldn't answer the question because there won't be any full time jobs..One landlord who rents out shop premises to local businesses thought Asda coming to Melksham was wonderful news.I wonder if he'll still hold that view in a years time?I mean who in their right mind would won't to start a retail shop business in the town centre now.The towns on its last legs as it is.With Asda coming it will be the final nail in the coffin! It will suck every last bit of life out of the town centre.I honestly can't see Peacocks staying in Melksham not with Asda and Sainsbury's both selling cheap clothing.I can remember Melksham twenty years ago it was a busy town with lots of independent shops now its like a ghost town.All it has to offer now is takeaways,charity shops and estate agents.Go to any town in the country where there are large supermarkets and the effects are exactly the same.
CAN WE FIGHT BACK?
The bargains you put into your trolley really have come at a price! The supermarkets have destroyed livelihoods, encouraged factory farming, decimated town centres and have brought about a monopolization of grocery shopping.Once all competition is put out of business there will be less choice for the consumer and the supermarkets will hold the trump card.They will be able to charge what ever they want for their goods.There are still ways we can fight the supermarkets.Instead of buying meat from supermarkets why not give your business to a local butcher.Where the meat will have been reared and slaughtered localy and will be much better value for money.You could also try using local farmers markets or farm shops for fruit,veg and poultry.Try to use your small local shops more for everything else.Small independents usually offer knowledgeable advice and will go that extra mile for you.
If you are lucky enough to still live in a town that hasn't been blighted by supermarkets then there are groups you can join which will give you all the advice you need to fight planning applications.Check out the link on the right for Tescopoly.