Fair trade, slave trade?

Charles No Comments

Interesting piece in Sunday’s Observer.

The Co-op, which boasts about its ethical credentials, has been accused by farmers of making ‘unreasonable’ demands and flexing its market muscle in the wake of its £1.6bn takeover of Somerfield.

One large grower has sought advice from both the National Farmers Union and the Office of Fair Trading.

Terry Jones, the NFU’s head of government affairs, said: “We were surprised by the demands made by the Co-op, not least given their recent advertising campaign which played up their responsible approach to retailing.”

The Co-op’s food retailing sector has taken a hit in the wake of its takeover of Somerfield, and is currently posting losses.

Funeralcare, on the other hand, posted a profit in 2008 of £39.2 million, and announced in its annual review a megalomaniac ambition to become “the world’s leading funeral director.” Watch out, Poland!

Are profits from funerals being used to shore up a tottering retail sector? I wish I had the business brain to figure that one out.

Read the entire Observer story here.

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