Even by this restricted measure sales grew 8.3% in the year to September 2004. Which is a rather safe bet as it looks unlikely that the USA will ratify the treaty in the near future, and the treaty is non-binding without USA ratification.6 In a situation like this it is easy to say you support the government’s position, therefore looking as if you care, without actually having to do anything. Tesco, along with most other supermarkets, is a member of the Freight Transport Association, ‘the lobby group representing the interests of road hauliers …(which) campaigns against restrictions on lorries travelling through residential areas at night, against constraint on the size of lorries and for increases in the speed limit for large lorries on small country roads.’20 In June 2004, Tesco co-signed a letter to the Chancellor calling on him to increase transport spending and ‘fund the widening of the most congested parts of our key Trade Routes: the M1, M25, M4, M6, and M62’.21, Tesco is a member of the British Retail Consortium (BRC)22 , and regularly attends the BRC summer Parliamentary reception and the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) Summer Parliamentary reception, where guests were given weighty going-home bags courtesy of Tesco and others. An organic label doesn’t necessarily mean that the product has been fairly traded or that the farmer has been paid a fair price by the supermarkets. Non-Executive Director of Provident Financial PLC and Chairman of the Export Credit Guarantee Department. - Caitlin, Uni of Wales Trinity Saint David Depending on the sector, such farms are either becoming modern day serfs to the big corporations or being replaced by huge corporate farming enterprises. In February 2004, DEFRA commissioned ‘independent’ researchers, London Economics to investigate the increasing gap between farm-gate and retail prices in the UK. Tesco Ireland has been fined for selling products below their cost price in an attempt to undercut other retailers, and for selling certain products at a higher price in Ireland than in the UK. This, on one hand, is a result of neo-liberal economic trade rules, and shows how unfair these rules are towards small producers who are not allowed to systematically receive a fair price for their products. Read the latest Scottish news covering Glasgow and Edinburgh. Jobs will be lost elsewhere and opportunities for entrepreneurship stiffled. September 2004. Probably because this voluntary code of practice, drawn up by the big four supermarkets themselves, required the complaint to be made to the supermarkets first, which would be commercial suicide. Tesco’s credit rating had fallen the previous year because so much of its growth had been based on borrowing.25. The jobs to be cut range from data-entry assistants up to accountants and IT support professionals. Absorbing so many stores requires impressive management, and of course, Tesco has not failed. As usual, Tesco was quick off the mark, acquiring T&S Stores, the highly successful c-store and CTN (confectioners, tobacconists, newsagents) chain, in October 2002. All of this undermines British businesses on the home front as they battle in global markets.’. See section on ‘Tesco’s dealing with suppliers and farmers’. Some local campaigns have been successful in persuading Tesco not to close their post offices including Longlevens in Gloucester and Jersey Farm, St Albans. The fair trade and organic farming movements developed in part as a response to exploitation by supermarkets. Similar stories abound from Hadleigh in Suffolk to Shaftesbury in Dorset. Datamonitor, food retailing analysts 21. Wal-Mart introduced this strategy when it entered the UK market in 1999 with their acquisition of Asda. As the supermarkets move back onto the high street and into non-food goods (See earlier section on ‘Strategy: Non-food goods’), other major nationwide chains are feeling the pain. Tesco, Britain’s biggest and most profitable supermarket chain, is the darling of the City. Poorer people are less likely to have cars and are therefore more of a captive market, unable to go in search of cheaper prices.61 Sainsburys and Tesco ‘have been fiercely criticised by the Citizens’ Organising Foundation for charging higher prices in poor areas than rich ones.’62. Tesco sells one in every four bananas, and BananaLink estimates that Tesco makes about £1m a week from banana sales. Scottish notes circulate and are accepted quite freely in Scotland and, for the most part, they are also readily accepted in England & Wales, although branches of Scottish banks there may not issue them. The rest of this section surveys Tesco’s international activities and corporate crimes on a country-by-country basis. Tesco has outlined measures which it has undertaken to support British farmers by buying mostly British meat and dairy, which is at great personal cost to themselves because foreign produce is cheaper. The personal service is why holidaymakers come to Sheringham, but with a giant Tesco it will be like everywhere else.’ Ronald Wright, 73, of Blyth and Wright ironmongers, Sheringham, founded in 1898 54. For a more critical perspective on Tesco’s work try the Tescopoly website. Faced with increasing public concerns, appearing to be an ethical and thoughtful company taking heed of today’s social and environmental issues has become more and more important for corporations whose public image is vital to their sales. Philip Clarke, International Operations and IT Director (43), Andrew Higginson, Finance and Strategy Director (46). John Breach of the Fruit Growers’ Association described the risk of being de-listed for raising objections to terms and conditions as ‘very real’, 66 and for this reason, it is difficult to be precise about the scale of the problem. It undertook a large-scale recruitment campaign to encourage women to participate, supported through extensive TV, radio and in-store promotion. If I’m buying food I don’t want to see a solicitor!’39. It came up to a total of like £15 and she gave me a £50 note Had to tell her to get something smaller from the bank because I couldn't provide her with the change, who the **** pays with a £50 unless your buying something expensive. 5. http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=47745 viewed 28/7/04, 6. http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/hsc/longworth.htm viewed 28/7/04, 7. www.red-star-research.org.uk/subframe3 Latest news, expert advice and information on money. Its a far cry from the Mayfair or Park Lane addresses of many of the other FTSE 100 companies Corporate Watch monitors. Tesco takes animal welfare very seriously, as we can also see from its funding of the ‘Food Animal Initiative’, based primarily at the University of Oxford, which develops new farming practices that are ‘welfare friendly, food safe and environmentally sustainable’. Of the 518 Tesco stores of under 500 square metres sales area in 1972, just 190 remained by 1980.58, This pattern of supermarkets moving into an area, causing all the local shops to close, and then moving out again because business isn’t doing well creates something called ‘Food Deserts’. This means that farmers are forced to feed their cattle on low-cost high-protein imported soya and maize the growing of which is wreaking environmental havoc in Argentina and across the USA.20, Meat doctoring An investigation by Guardian journalist, Felicity Lawrence, revealed how the meat industry manufactures and ‘doctors’ the mountains of cheap chicken products we find on supermarket shelves. After refusing to pay the £27m surcharge (plus interest and costs) for the costs to the Council of her actions, and initially insisting that her assets were only worth £300,000, she eventually reached a deal with Westminster Council, paying £12m in 2004.15, Tesco is keen on employing former government officials. In both Slovakia and Hungary – where it has had a presence since 1994 – Tesco describes itself as the ‘market leader’.70 In March 2004, Tesco opened its first petrol station in Hungary and is planning to build another five to seven in the country over 2004,71 having acquired a licence to build petrol stations at all of its Hungarian outlets.72, In November 2003 Tesco bought the Kipa chain for £75m. See Corporate Watch briefing ‘The National Farmer’s Union: Friend to Big Business not to Small Farmers’ for more details.71. ON October 15 last year, £1 round coins stopped being legal tender in the UK. Under the leadership of Ian MacLaurin, who succeeded Jack Cohen in 1973, Tesco decided to try something dramatic and different: to become an ‘aspirational mass retailer’. Click here to find out who’s on Tesco’s board of directors. The company claims the additional cost is due to rearing the pigs outside.22. There are also new ‘zoning rules’ which say that there can only be one hypermarket for every 350,000 people.59, However, curbing Tesco’s power may prove to be difficult. This move is part of the general supermarket trend to consolidate for efficiencies and price stabilisation. There are also concerns that most of the products blessed with free computer vouchers come into the category of junk food. Tesco Express convenience stores – which are springing up around the country as One Stop and Nite and Day are rebranded – and Tesco Metro stores are aimed at the lucrative ‘cash-rich time-poor’ shopping market. In Japan, Tesco is relying on customer loyalty to the high street, whilst its US and European rivals, including Wal-Mart, CostCo, Carrefour and Metro believe their fortunes lie in encouraging a culture of out-of-town superstores.64. Tesco has two Lifelong Learning Centres – at Welham Green Distribution Centre in Hertfordshire and Fennylock Distribution centre in Milton Keynes, where employees can sign up for e-learning through Learndirect. c/o Freedom Press If Tesco closes a small post office because ‘it wants to make more space for shelving’, the Post Office doesn’t have to take the rap. It has been illegal to export Indonesian logs since October 2001 when the Indonesian Government introduced a log export ban in a desperate attempt to control escalating levels of illegal logging. The Guardian 6/3/04, 3http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3086625.stm viewed 29/6/04, 5’C-stores help Tesco drive market share’ The Observer 22/9/04, 6Tesco Plc, Interim Statement of Results 24 weeks 9 August 2003, ‘More Customers Choose Tesco’ (16/9/03), 7’Tesco’s Clean Sweep’ Management Today December 2003, 82004 edition of Mintel’s European Retail Rankings, 9’Tesco: A new international company. Her support for Tesco is ironic given her concern for the countryside. In its 2004 interim report, Tesco state ‘We are pleased with the trading performance of the T&S stores. Investing in growth is really at the heart of Tesco’s strategy. It is the fourth largest supermarket in the world.8 Tesco operates 2,318 stores in 12 countries around the world and employs 326,000 people, 237,000 of them in Britain where it is the largest private employer. Mervyn Davies, Non Executive Director (51). Interestingly, many industry insiders believed that the only way to tackle Tesco’s dominance in the market would have been for the competition authorities to have allowed an Asda/Safeway merger, as this would have created a credible rival. Even where Thai products are being used, they are still likely to have been intensively farmed at the expense of small farmers, traditional farming methods and the environment. See also below in ‘C-store sector’ section. 25. http://www.nds.coi.gov.uk/coi/coipress.nsf/898f421d664e93ca802567350057b240/5c6867abef1c2a5c802569dd0057df0a?OpenDocument 20. This success spurred it onto another convenience store chain acquisition in March 2004; London-based Administore, which operates 45 stores under the trading names of Harts, Cullens and Europa. Whilst ‘concerns were raised over the changes it would bring’, the actual result, according to Tesco, is that the Tesco stores ‘has boosted Beverley’s reputation as a popular shopping destination’. Tesco is currently the fourth largest c-store operator behind Spar, Londis and the Co-op. In 2001 Tesco occupied 15.6% of the UK grocery retail market and was the market leader by 6%.4 Tesco’s enormous share is still growing: by September 2004, it had increased to a massive 28%, around 12% more than its nearest market rival, Asda.5 Some would argue that if we were to include Tesco’s share of the convenience store market (bizarrely considered a seperate sector by UK competition authorities) in this figure, Tesco could be said to control 34% of the grocery market. In the UK, Asda’s only real shot at catching up with Tesco would have come from a merger with Safeway, which was disallowed by the competition authorities 2003. No meaningful improvement for farmers in Britain and elsewhere can take place until the imbalance caused by artificially cheap transport has been removed and it becomes consistently cheaper to buy local. Children may learn about nutrition at school, but the next day in assembly they will be encouraged to buy as many crisps, biscuits and fizzy drinks as they can to enable them to get a computer. He is also a Non-executive Director of Diageo plc and Computer Sciences Corporation. There are similar stories in other sectors from clothing newsagents. In January 2004, Leahy was named European Businessman of the Year by Fortune Magazine. Tesco has recently acquired a chain in Turkey whose ‘European’ status is unclear. Transforming local government is certainly on Tesco’s agenda. Less than cosmetic perfection A recent Consumers’ Association report on supermarket fruit and vegetables3 illustrates it isn’t just EU marketing standards that insist on strict criteria for cosmetic appearance. ‘Tesco recruits two Blair Aides’ Severin Carrell Independent on Sunday 9/12/01, 17. www.london-first.co.uk/about_us/ourmembers.asp?L2=79 These notes were introduced on 17 September 2007, and show Scotland's most famous … After years of campaigning by trade unions, the Gangmasters Licencing Act became law in July 2004, which should see UK gangmasters licenced and registered. In the early 1960’s, Cohen lobbied Parliament to have the Retail Price Maintenance (RPM) act abolished, efforts supported by Edward Heath. For more detailed discussion on these issues, see Corporate Watch publication ‘A Rough Guide to the Farming Crisis’ www.corporatewatch.org.uk/agriculture/farmreport.pdf. London, E1 7QX, United Kingdom I work fom 7am until midnight, either I’m busy at the farm or at Tesco.’68, Tesco has put forward several arguments to counter these criticisms. He was mainly concerned with European Union polices on agriculture. Since 70% of purchase decisions are apparently made instore, this gets consumers where they are most vulnerable or suggestible. A spokesperson for the group confirmed that there is no minimum or maximum amount customers can exchange - meaning you could deposit just one coin. Unpopular board appointments were compounded by the news that chairman Sir Peter Davis received a massive bonus despite the firm’s poor performance. 10. Funnily enough I was once at a Tesco down Chelmsford and the lass on the checkout had never seen a 50 quid Scottish note before, made me pretty nervous because it was all Scottish notes I had on me level 2 Many organic enthusiasts question whether the supermarkets’ general policy of sourcing their organic products from large industrial-style farms, who are attracted to organics because of higher profit margins rather than ethics, as well as importing from poor countries who can barely feed themselvse such as Zimbabwe, is really true to the original social and environmental aims of the organic movement. Ken Morrison, of Morrisons 91. However, Asian governments may feel they are treading a fine line between on the one hand encouraging foreign investment and boosting their country’s economy, and, on the other, letting multinational chains take over at the expense of local traders. It could also be the case in the two edge-of-town stores in Witney, Oxfordshire, that have been taken over by Tesco. Selling some organic/fair trade ranges does not excuse the supermarkets for the way their rest of their food is produced. John Longworth, group trading, law and technical director of Tesco PLC, sits on several British Retail Consortium policy committees. Sir Terry Leahy, the chief executive, was paid £4.3m in cash and long-term incentives. Tesco makes much of its generous contribution to poor areas in submissions to the UK government regarding its tax burden.63. Tesco’s Company Secretary and Director of Group Corporate Affairs, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, is a fascinating example of ‘revolving doors’ between industry and government. He ascribes Tesco’s phenomenal success under his leadership to his policy of ‘listening to the customer’. Currently, John Longworth, group trading, law and technical director of Tesco PLC, sits on the Government Advisory Committee on Packaging Waste and Recycling, and is also one of nine commissioners of the Health and Safety Commission.6 Lucy Neville Rolfe, Tesco’s Director of Group Corporate Affairs, also sits on Government committees (see below). Top-flight Indian graduates earn about £3,000 a year, a tenth of what an experienced accountant or IT professional could earn in the UK. This is especially interesting considering the ‘traffic lights’ labelling system that Tesco is trialling to highlight nutritional levels in products.31 Tesco announced its decision in the light of increasing concerns about poor diet and the obesity crisis, and presumably to pre-empt any legislative action on food retailers to provide this information along guidelines set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Tesco in-store pharmacies have been doing well; according to one report these sell more than Boots and Superdrug together32. Appointed 1999, also Chief Executive of ITV, formerly Chairman of Granada Group Plc. Some staff remain on the picket line, meanwhile asylum seekers have been brought in to do the work instead. In the 1960s, Tesco was buying up literally hundreds of grocery stores and small grocery chains around the country.17 It introduced ‘Home ‘n’ Wear’ departments into larger stores to carry higher-margin non-food merchandise, including clothing and household items, and opened its first 40,000ft ‘superstore’ in Crawley, Sussex. This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. The leaflet contains other vague assertions about ‘our local store teams being at the heart of the community that they live in and serve’. There's also no limit as to how many old pounds you can deposit. 3. With the domestic market increasingly saturated, some UK supermarket chains, namely Tesco, Sainsbury (who have now sold their interests in the USA) and M&S have looked to overseas markets to maintain their positions. No, most don't. 2004 has also seen shareholder unrest for Sainsbury’s. This is exploitation of British citizens just because English in not their first language and some of them do not speak much English at all. The CAP consumes almost half the EU’s entire budget. In its interim statement of results (August 2003), Tesco claimed ‘our share of the total retail market is just 12.3% and there is a lot left to go for.’ Already, ‘just 12.3%’ means that almost one pound in every eight spent in the UK is spent in Tesco.6. Importing staple British fruit unnecessarily and hiking the price In November 2003 Friends of the Earth published a survey16 of the apples, carrots and potatoes found in supermarkets, greengrocers and markets. 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