Sainsbury’s petrol deal will hurt local businesses and the environment

The Green Party has voiced its opposition to Sainsbury’s new fuel promotion, which aims to attract customers by offering 10p off a litre of petrol for people spending at least £60 in their stores.

The Greens argue that this deal will take business away from small local shops, which could have negative consequences for the local economy. Small shops drive competition and innovation, as well as significantly contributing to local employment (1). The petrol deal will also encourage shoppers to drive further to find a large Sainsbury store, maintaining a dependency on fuel and harming the environment.

Keith M Ross of Swansea Green Party said, “If Sainsbury’s is in a position to reduce prices then surely it would be better to cut staple items, vegetables and healthy food rather than encouraging people to drive. In these times of economic austerity, ensuring that people can afford food must be more important than pandering to people with cars.”

In the past year the UK has seen a sharp increase in the number of people unable to afford food. FareShare, an organisation that redistributes discarded food from major supermarkets (such as Sainsbury’s) to charities, has seen a 20% rise in the number of people it is feeding. The type of people the charities are now feeding has changed as well – what was largely single homeless is now increasingly families and working people who cannot afford to feed themselves (2).

Keith Ross continued, “The Green Party has long campaigned for government action toward reducing poverty in the UK, as well as reducing the waste of food by supermarkets.  We need sustainable policies on the production and distribution of food in the future, not price cutting gimmicks that actually do more harm than good.”

Notes:

(1) http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/news.php?NID=265

(2) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/01/sharp-rise-demand-food-handouts

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One response to this post.

  1. Extracts appeared in today’s Evening Post.

    Reply

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