Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Price War..Good or Bad?


Hello
I see that Asda is ramping up the price war.
In the short term this has to be good for those of us who have a limited income. But long term?
Rest assured that the price cuts will not be taken by the supermarkets, they will betaken by the farmers, growers and producers.
 Already the price war over milk has led many farmers to the brink of bankruptcy. Many have just given up as it is not sustainable as they are earning, in real terms, about £2.00 an hour. Is this what we want ?Who wants to earn £2.00 an hour to work high days and holidays, weekends evenings and early morning 365 days a year?   Have we got so obsessed with being frugal that we are now just plain selfish and mean, not caring about the impact of us grabbing yet another bargain?
Nobody is worse than I at grabbing a bargain. if you will read my last post I have even posted a picture of three really cheap products I bought the other day. - Sugar, Veggie Oxo and toothpaste (with a free toothbrush)  I know next to nothing about how or where the latter two are made and where, but I do know that half of the sugar we use is now produced in this country ..Hurrah!...but are we now squeazing these farmers to take less and less profit so that supermarkets can sell cheap, while not loosing themselves? How long will these farmers consider it worth their while ?
Will (cheap or otherwise) imports be the answer? Do we want to become dependent on other countries for products over which we have no control, either for quality, availability or price? As the world struggles to feed an ever-growing population where will it leave us if these producers realise that they need to feed their own?
 Just a few thoughts. Gosh I've really "got it on me" this week haven't I?!
Gillx

33 comments:

  1. I think your comments are very valid.
    J x

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  2. We went forcibly out of milk (we were a dairy farm) as we caught Foot and Mouth here during the outbreak, but the farmer has often said since that we would not have been able to continue milking as there would have been no income from it at all.

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    1. The figures don't add up for the dairy farmers do they?

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  3. Unfortunately food is the one area people are compelled to make savings in. You have to pay your mortgage, gas,electric,council tax or end up in court. Food is the one place people on low incomes have autonomy therefore they're constantly looking for bargains. The big supermarkets could do more to help. They have loss leaders on promotional goods. Why don't they sell basic goods milk, bread, sugar, flour etc at cost giving the farmer their share of the profit. People would still shop at their stores. Just a thought.

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    1. If they followed your idea then those on low incomes could also shop ethically, knowing no one was being exploited. Ethical shopping be it organic/ local/whatever is a luxury those on low incomes cannot afford.
      Gill

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  4. Very interesting post. Long term the price of food is going to increase due to global demand and the long era of "cheap" food will be over.
    I dont think the supermarkets can hold out forever in the face of this.

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    1. I think you are right. Long term food will be expensive because of increased demand and how will those on low incomes fare?

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  5. I've never understood why supermarkets want to tempt us with cheap milk. When living in England I would happily have paid twice the price they were selling for.

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    1. It's a big "loss leader" here, but I suspect that the Supermarkets lose very little!
      t certainly is worth more than the price it sells for, but is also a staple and those on low incomes with families are bound to buy the cheapest there is.

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  6. Everything that you say makes perfect sense, we will wake up one day to find that British milk has gone and imported is all there is, at whatever price they care to charge. I saw a program from the US a few days ago about coupon shopping, people were filling their cars with mountains of shopping for nothing. How can that work and what effect does it have on the working conditions and wages of the people who produce these goods.

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    1. Hey Pam the food and stuff that goes into those trolleys is all processed products. its crazy isnt it.

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    2. I haven't seen that and only have a vague idea about coupon shopping. There was a young man on a day time programme the other day, who was showing how he could get £20 odd worth of groceries for £4 (much of it I wouldn't buy anyway) And I wondered how that could be sustainable if everyone did it. it has to be paid for somewhere along the line.
      It's a bit like those people who only ever buy yellow sticker goods or freebies and don't buy a television licence, only read newspapers at the library etc.SOMEBODY is paying for those items somewhere.

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    3. Those coupon Queen shows are really scary-the essence of hoarding because you can. Occasionally you hear about doing so as ways to make donations to food banks, military troops, homeless shelters, but usually it is to show off their impressive stockpiles. I don't mean to suggest sensible stockpiling is greedy-planning for your family's immediate and shorter term needs similarly to the suggestions of savings in a bank account to tide you over in an emergency or cash stoppage. These people will have 2+ years of toothpaste, laundry soap, and diapers when they do not even have kids in need of diapers. That is the weird one for me. http://newframereference.blogspot.com

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  7. I am not what you call a frugal shopper, I go for quality rather than quantity and try to support local producers, for example butter Tesco produce a Welsh butter well it says welsh on the label, its £1 but the butter I buy is produced localy and costs me £1.65, I buy the welsh milk at 25p more tham the other cheap milk, I am still looking for a farmers market were I can shop, I like my food to taste of food, I have at times gone to Lidl and Aldi because people have said what a great place to shop, but to be honest I have walked around and left without buying anything, its just all foreign produced food, rather than be frugal with my shopping I prefer to make sure I stretch out and use what food I do buy, when i see people load up trolleys with all the festive fayre I do wonder why they need so much food for one day. How much of it will end up in the bin.
    But each to there own I still belive back to basics were food is concerned and teach the kids in school to cook healthy tasty food and how to shop for quality ingredients.:-)

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    1. Back to basics is where Lidl is good. Flours, sugar, rice etc I cook from scratch, but I know not everybody can, and use basics form these Supermarkets.
      Regarding filling up Christmas trolleys... don't get me started!!! I am getting a post together about that subject at the moment.
      I've definitely got my campaigning hat on this week haven't I?!

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  8. food prices are crazy this is why people on low incomes have to buy such highly processed foods. pastries etc ones that are really bad for you

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    1. You are so right ! it is cheaper to buy sausages full of cereal, pies with little filling, beefburgers made from who-knows-what than to make them yourself or go to a good butcher/baker. If I have a couple of children to feed on £40 a week I'm not going to buy 8 links of butcher's sausages at nearly three pound when I can buy 8 cereal filled ones for 99p.I'm going to buy sliced bread at 50p a loaf not a small artisan one for £1.20. and £1 worth of biscuits will fill you better than £! worth of apples.
      Not buying any meat would always save money, but requires a degree of skill, not just not buying meat. We eat a lot of veggie meals, but they take a quite a high degree of skill to make them tasty enough for children. I know vegetarians that LOVE veggies and think that just eating veggies will do. Try giving a teenager with his mates round to watch to footie brussels, broad beans and mushrooms on a bed of pasta and see where it gets you!!

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  9. I agree with most of what Dawn has said, but must point out that Lidl sell locally grown veggies, eg; potatoes, cabbage, carrots ext some of which are also organic. Foreign does not always mean rubbish.
    I do not believe that people must buy crap food because they are on a low budget. More veg, less meat, a little thought and a bit more activity in the kitchen go a long way toward healthy frugal meals. A good case of "less is more"!
    I do pay a higher price to have locally produced un-homogenized milk.

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    1. I am on what some might call a low budget, but I know many on MUCH lower and I don't know how they manage ! And I'm pretty good at managing ..hence my title! I'm in my late 60s, bought up by a frugal mum after the war when food was still rationed, I'm a smallholder who wastes nothing and is a passable cook. But I would STILL struggle on what some young people with families have to live on. Especially those whose parents couldn't cook either and who went to a school that may have taught some cooking, but not necessarily dishes that would help to cut costs.
      Many young people on low incomes don't have the tools either. How do they manage on two rings, with no sharp knives and just a frying pan and one saucepan and just enough electric in the meter for something quick??This is the reality for many young people.
      I agree that foreign doesn't always mean rubbish.
      Thanks for commenting Irene, yours first time here methinks.
      Gill

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    2. Yes t'is.
      Looking forward to your trolly rant.

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  10. We shop at Morrisons who have a price match system, You have n loyalty card which is handed over at the checkout. Items bought are compared to proves in all the other supermarkets and points added to the equivalent value of any savings you would make elsewhere. When this adds up to £5 you are given a voucher to use against further shopping. So far we have already had two vouchers, We are finding though that there is becoming a squeee on choices and often can't find the items we want.

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    1. I rarely use Morrisons. I didn't realise they do that. I would like to see coupons for basics, but I suppose people will buy those anyway. Looks like you have£10 towards Christmas!

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    2. We buy fruit (we don;t buy veg) and meat from local small shops but the general stuff from Morrison's as it is nearest to us and the coupons are just used as money not product specific. They have only just started the scheme and the price match includes Lidl, Aldi, special offers and like for like own brands so it will be interesting to see if it is self sustaining.

      The thing that annoys me is the waste from supermarkets which must put up costs and also mean farmers are wasting their time as anything that is not of a required size or shape us unacceptable. They must have to grow twice as much as they really need to in order to allow for wastage.

      I wonder if there is a supermarket brave enough to have a rejects fruit and veg stall with cheaper items as an experiment into what people will actually buy rather than stating glibly "the customer won't buy that"

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  11. The sad truth is that the only ones who profit are the middle men (not exempting women here!) who do the least amount of work. The actual producers, especially of food, get the least. There is something totally wrong about that! Yet that's the way the system is set up! Oh for the days of farmers' and village markets when consumers bought direct. What price convenience!

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    1. I think there will be a turn around soon as food gets scarcer. let us hope that the farmers haven't given up by then, selling their land to the big GM farmers.
      I have to say that the produce at the farmer's markets here is usually very expensive, which is a shame, as they have no middle man to pay and people on low incomes have no chance of affording their produce. However the produce is usually of excellent quality.

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  12. I'm a new follower (thanks to seeing you on JG's side-line and as a commenter on there.
    I enjoy a particular 'brand' of free range eggs which is sold by Waitrose and on reading the small print on the box, I discovered that they are from a farm in the village where I live. But when I tried to buy them direct from the farm, so as to put the money into the farmer's pocket instead of the supermarket's coffers, I found I couldn't do so. Several farms have honesty boxes on a stall selling eggs, vegetables, fruit, preserves, etc. but it seems that if you supply your produce to a supermarket, you are not allowed to sell direct to the public. Honestly, I can't imagine that a farmers; stall is going to have much effect on a multi-million pound supermarket business, can you?

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  13. Nice to see you here
    How disappointing for you. Whatever happened to a free market?!
    Thanks for commenting . Who is JG ?
    Gill

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  14. People are tied up with contracts and elf-n-safety. Smallholders as well as farmers, can face a legal mine field when attempting to sell their produce. For years now, life has been made almost impossible for the small producer. Governments don't want us to have the freedom of choice, and all supermarkets want us to be dependent on them.
    As a smallholder yourself Gill, I'm sure that you have noticed the changes over the past 30 years. I hope that you are right, and things start to open up again.
    Enjoy reading here.

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  15. Yes indeed! We sell from the gate, but it is always a risk. "Have our scales been checked"? ( we now sell by the bag or item) We used to sell or barter goat's milk, but were told that we had to have a room to milk in, that separate from the room they were milked in, which was separate from the room we processed in. would have cost us over £20,000 to "come up to scratch". We were not even allowed to give the milk away. I goes on and on.
    Thanks for reading. Good to have you on board.
    Gill

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  16. Utterly ridiculous! But I guess we live in a world where so many people demand compensation for absolutely every little thing. But a whole new room! Words fail me.

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  17. I get a lot of my produce from a local food box company, everything is produced and made in Cornwall and the farmers are paid a fair price. The veg come in all shapes and sizes, nothing is rejected because it doesn't come up to the supermarkets beauty standards. My cousin grows produce for supermarkets and is dictated to by them about price and looks of everything, it might be local but certainly isn't fair to the farmers and is not environmentally friendly when everything has to look perfect and standard.

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