The GM stance of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets
30th November, 1999
All he wanted to know was what the policies of the ‘big four’ supermarkets were for GM foods. But what Will Acker got was the big supermarket runaround…
The UK supermarket sector is dominated by Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys and Morrisons. These are the only chains that operate full-scale supermarkets of 40,000 sq feet or more. There are yearly fluctuations but the ‘big 4’ currently control around 75 per cent of the UK grocery market.
This places them in a position of massive influence, and leaving this responsibility with them begs an obvious question; can we trust that the food we are eating comes with an ethos that doesn’t contradict our own? For me this brings up the issue of GM foods, which I have become increasingly concerned about. Though it is something that leading supermarkets show awareness of, I wanted to know what their real stance was and what they saw GM foods having in the future of their industry?
The first place I looked was at each supermarket’s website. Tesco’s ‘Our values’ seemed a logical place to star, but I felt the two core values ‘no-one tries harder for their customers’ and ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’ didn’t really cater for my question nor did they seem (despite being handwritten on adorable post-it note graphics) to have any real meaning.
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