Monday 12 January 2004
Price war victims
Supermarket price war predicted. This is being billed as good news for consumers, resulting in more choice and lower prices. But somehow I’m not so sure. The price war will result in yet greater pressures on suppliers (i.e. farmers and food processors) in order to reduce costs. The producers are already under great pressure to produce highly consistent food at very low costs, driven by the demands of consumers. I feel that increasing that pressure will only lead to more food scares like the one involving salmon we have just seen (although I’ve yet to be convinced of the merit of the claims in that case), and will also improve the odds for mass-produced subsidized food from western multinationals at the expense of food from smaller producers, be they in developing nations or in the next village.