Dear Tesco 2

Jun 26, 2015 by

Dear Tesco,

I don’t know why I’m bothering to write to you again but here goes.

Firstly, I am not a customer of yours. I gave up on you long since. I just pop in occasionally to buy Fever Tree tonic (shame you only stock the low calorie option.)

Yesterday I had to run in to get a wedding card. And as I was there I couldn’t resist having a pooch. I was half thinking of getting some veg. I normally buy my veg from a “chemical free” grower (organic but just not registered) so I know what’s in season at all times of the year. However, when I looked at the seasonal selection I couldn’t believe my eyes.

A selection of French beans, mange tout, sprouting broccoli and baby corn from a range of countries including Egypt, India, Peru and Zimbabwe. There were more but I just can’t remember.

Several things ran through my mind. Firstly, well they are providing a living for growers, pickers, packers and transporters in the relevant countries. That they (Tesco) can transport them half way around the globe, sell them relatively competitively and make a profit shows how little these people probably get for them.

But also these are not EU countries so they are not governed by EU legislation with respect to pesticide, insecticide, artificial fertiliser application. There is precious little residue testing at port of entry, here anyway as I discovered a few years ago. I wanted to get this information on fruit we were using in the bakery I managed and just came up time and time again against brick walls until finally, someone admitted to me they just don’t have the financing.

So instead of giving Irish growers (governed by EU legislation) a living, we import vegetables that can very easily be grown here at this time of the year. In the depths of winter I can understand importing it. Why anyone would want to eat it is beyond me but that is their choice and modern consumerism.

I am lucky I have the choice to buy my fruit and vegetables grown locally. Lucky too that I can buy “organic” cheaper than most supermarkets and green grocers. But I wonder does the average customer care? When I pointed it out to the Tesco employee, he told me he had never noticed before but he would pass it on.

Then as I walked away, he said “for all the good it will do.”

Tesco, you are losing market share hand over fist to the German discounters. They stock loads more Irish products including fruit and vegetables. Maybe you should take a walk down their aisles?

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