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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Waitrose don't preach

For a blogger of my stripe there is practically endless material to be found in food packaging. I've been meaning for ages to devote a post to the Co-op's instructions for preparing a carrot for consumption.

The other day Frau Grumpy brought home a bag of Waitrose potatoes adorned with the slogan "Grown with care by farmers who share our values". This really must not be allowed to pass without comment.

Let me first put before you the image of a gaggle of Fenland farmers being examined in their catechism by the local Waitrose buyer. Diverting, is it not?

Then let me suggest that Waitrose have clearly determined that our appetite for corporate sanctimony is so insatiable that we will tolerate it even when it is utterly, 500% vacuous. For these are not even organic potatoes. They are the ordinary, bog standard variety (indeed, since they come from Curmudgeshire it is very likely that they were grown in a former bog).

Our newly rediscovered compulsion to be preached at is, you might suppose, good news for the churches. Well, perhaps, but they will surely blow their chance if, as all too often seems to be the case, they confine themselves to preaching about exactly the same things as Waitrose. It's a contest they are unlikely to win. Just before the Papal Visit I was vastly entertained by a Catholic Herald piece penned by a chap of liberal leanings who'd decided there must be some good in the old boy after all on learning that he has had solar panels installed on the Vatican roof. Parody is redundant.

A final thought: with the Equality Act now in force, are Waitrose not skating on thin ice? I foresee an action brought by potato farmers who are ******ed if they're going to parrot the Waitrose creed and don't see why they should be discriminated against...


Paul M said...

You may be short-changing the good people at Waitrose, who might have been speaking the absolute truth about their potato farmers. That is, they didn't offer farmers who share your values. The values in question were more likely those of Waitrose. Conceivably, a dedication to producing saleable items at the greatest benefit to the corporate bottom line and the executive bonus, whatever it takes — the collapse of the global economy, a byproduct of a metric tonne of carbon a piece, or mulching each one with composted third world orphans.

Unknown said...

Just so you know, Waitrose is a partnership we dont have an "executive bonus" we have no shareholders, The profit our company makes is shared by ALL the people who work for us, from the cleaners to the top managers. Therefore there is far more of us "bottom line" employees who make sure our quailty is far better than rivals. And having trained i can assure you it is. Any resepctable academic would find both your comments without evedience, academic papers, reliable statistics... so complete rubbish, i would condem everything you wrote with such, but i have a life thank you.

Mr Grumpy said...

Alexander, I'm sure Waitrose is a great company to work for. But did your training include customer service?