Gufodotto would like you to read these:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Do supermarkets make our lives better?

The BBC radio program "World Have Your Say" points to an opinion piece by food critic Jay Rayner discussing whether or not supermaret are a good or evil force in our fight for better, affordable food.

I have to admit that I quite like his position, founding it well reasoned and far from the anti-supermarket crowd rants...

Yes, supermarket "are bloody convenient", as he points out. But they are not the "the dismal and anonymous places" they are made out to be... The people working in there are just, well, people, and they are as likely to behave nicely or badly with their customers as any other "small-retailer" who has been put out of business by them.

Also, I may add, from my personal experience, in Italy the small distribution is suffering now the revenge of customers who until now were forced to pay extortion prices for goods often 1/3rd cheaper in the supermarket.

And as Jay thoughtfully points out, all those chef recommending exotic ingredients would not be able to offer recipes for less than 5 pounds if it weren't for the big scale economies that allow big chain to sell these foods at a lower price.

There certainly is a lot to be done to force supermarket to pay an honest price to farmers... But as long as people pushes them to have cheaper and cheaper food, they're going to attempt anything they can to provide them with it. Once people will start demanding high quality food, we will see a shift in the chains' modus operandi. Not one second before.

No comments: