Shopping recently in Tesco’s, and we were looking for pineapples for some recipe that Jo wanted to try. We walked down the aisle and the space the ‘ordinary’ pineapples were in was empty. Above them though, were ‘FairTrade’ pineapples priced at £2.49 each. Jo decided that was too expensive and walked off. Not being intimately aware of how much pineapples are I looked at what she would have been willing to pay – £1.69, nearly a 75% of ‘FairTrade’!
That morning I had been watching a news channel where they were interviewing Stuart Rose about the M&S’s drive for all things green and eco-friendly. When asked why he responded by saying “It’s what our customers want”. Now I remember a similar interview when the major supermarkets introduced ‘FairTrade’ (after being lambasted for exploiting these farmers) saying that it was what there customers wanted. The Observer on 1st October 2006 reported
Tesco is expected to report a rise in pre-tax profits of at least 12 per cent to more than £1.125bn in the first six months of the year. It is now on course to crash through the £2.5bn profit barrier – possibly this year
which indicates that they are not short of cash – so why are they increasing the cost of there pineaplles by 60p just because it is ‘FairTrade’.
The short answer is: Yes it’s what our customers want…but they’ll have to pay for it not us