Blogs

Write new blog
gourmetpimpernel

Death of an (honourable) Salesman

by gourmetpimpernel published on

A few weeks ago, listening to the news on the radio over breakfast, it was one tragic story after another, and then the newsreader added a pep to her tone with the line "...and now for some good news".

Rather than put a smile on my face, her final news snippet was the most tragic story of all, made worse because it was feted as a joyous event - Dealz, the discount retailer, had opened it's 17th outlet in the republic of Ireland. Where do I begin? This is a tragedy on so many levels, a tale without light.

Firstly I suggest that you look at their "grocery" page on their website. Jars of hot dogs, tins of "pork luncheon meat", pot noodles, chocolate and biscuits. Do we not care about what our nation is eating? Do we not care about the adverse effects on health caused by a diet of convenience food?

Next, look at the prices. Most items retail at €1.49. How will small independent retailers survive if they are loosing customers to these insanely cheap prices? And how can nutritional food be sold at such a low price? (Obviously it can't, nutrition is not for sale in Dealz).

Thirdly, look at the origin of most of the food. The milk is Bangor Maid milk from Co.Down, the meats are made by Struik Foods, a Dutch company, the sugar is made by Whitworths, a U.K. based company, all products that we produce (or produced, as the sugar beet factories have been closed in Ireland for some years) ourselves in Ireland. How do we expect our agricultural industry to grow when the opening of a retail outlet that sells mainly imported food products is hailed as a good thing?

Lastly, I refer to Dealz the great employer. Today's opening brings the number of jobs Dealz has created in Ireland to over 490. RTE journalist, Philip Boucher Hayes, in his documentary What's Ireland Eating(2011), showed that for every job created by a supermarket giant, 1.5 jobs are lost locally within 2-3 years. So you see, this is a tragic story. Dealz should not be lauded as a great employer or a positive business that will work for the good of the nation. Dealz, and the likes of Dealz, do nothing but harm everything and everyone in its path, from the customer who is now tucking into a sandwich of slice pan and tinned bacon, to the small local traders who are struggling to survive, to the nations economy.

I speak for Ireland, and the damage these discount retailers are doing to our economy, communities and health, but the same applies to all countries who allow these retailers to grow.

4 replies
Replied on

Great article - good reading, I grew up eating rabbit, ox kidney etc: all of the cheap cuts. I was so shocked to see they are now so expensive in a leading (Delia)! supermarket as they are considered trendy! I also feel the lack of schololing in teaching people / kids about food, crafts etc mea]ns they are distanced from things. But the greatest problem for many is lack of time. Work, running a house etc means people struggle to have the time to do proper cooking, crafting etc.

Replied on

I don't see the growth of these supermarkets as a result of the stubbornness of the Irish. From the Government down, these giant food suppliers are feted as welcome additions to communities. They are seen as great employers who give value back to the communities. When this message is being conveyed all around us here it is no wonder that these businesses are prospering.

We are being told daily in our newspapers how much Lidl, Aldi, Tesco and the likes are doing for our agricultural industry and for our country. All their print advertisements show green fields, Friesian cows and a smiling "Irish" farmers. My problem is that these companies are being encouraged and promoted by the Irish government and the Irish media. The government is interested in quick money and not in a sustainable local economy that will work for the good of the country years down the line.

People will, more often than not, seek out the better value. My hope is that the government and media will cease encouraging the supermarket bullies and highlight that, actually, spending a little more on local produce will give better value in the long run, sustaining jobs and communities and bringing back the hearts of towns and villages.

Replied on

I lived on the west coast of Ireland and was shocked to find how keen the locals were to see Tesco move in to our local towns.

Moving there from Sussex I was delighted to see independent shops; real butchers and fruiterers for instance.

Until i got the bill.

The Irish got VERY greedy when the tiger was roaring and haven't lost that sense of greed when times have got hard.

An irish friend was amazed when she saw 'yellow sticker' goods in Sainsbury's over here. She said that her 'local' supermarket (supervalu) would rather throw it away than offer a discount.

Ireland is just not used to competition. The man in the pub who smiles at you will happily rip you off over the counter.

Harsh but true.

In my opinion, the only reason that these discount stores are thriving (Aldi and Lidl included) is because the Irish are so stubborn.

Replied on

Strangely enough,Kerry Gold Butter is sold in the UK.

To leave a response to the post you will need to be a registered user. Sign-up here or Login here
@rivercottage
  • RT @Loztastique: @rivercottage #cookeveryday my gran. She had a simple strategy - good ingredients cooked simply. And lemon & cream improve…
  • #22 for #cookeveryday is - what got you into cooking? Perhaps a friend, family member, teacher or TV show?
  • RT @TinaTinaMay: @rivercottage I was made to eat that terrible mash made out of powder as a kid...why, when I could have had proper yummy b…
  • Any more for #21 of #cookeveryday? We're asking for food you were made to eat as a kid, lots of good answers so far! link
  • RT @GelfAlderson: @rivercottage was brought up as a vegetarian, rice flan always stuck with me, it summed up vegetarian cookery at its wors…
  • RT @HappyDaysNo1: @rivercottage I was made to eat liver and bacon casserole. I appreciate it now but wasn't such a fan as a kid. #cookevery…
  • RT @beckybeasley: @rivercottage lentil loaf, me and sis used to sneak it to the dog. #cookeveryday
  • RT @Bentholyptus: @rivercottage #everything. if I didn't eat everything on plate I couldn't leave dinner table. Suprised I'm not 20st #cook…
  • @NickKillingback Hmm, tricky. Let's ask @johnmushroom... #mushrooming
  • RT @allybag1: Gristle!!! Every bit of meat! Had to stay at the table till it was all gone ! Don't eat meat now ! #cookeveryday
  • RT @roryos31: @rivercottage #cookeveryday .My dad a chef loved making us eat all sorts -heart, pigs head , pigs feet etc.Not left leave ta…
  • It's time for #21 of #cookeveryday. What were you made to eat as a kid? Go! link
  • RT @AnnaPitt: @rivercottage fave autumn treat: bonfire, mulled wine, pumpkin soup and the glow of pumpkin lanterns #cookeveryday
  • @jonnytbonewils over to @lambposts...
  • WATCH: Make your own traditional apple and blackberry fruit leather with @thepamthejam link #cookeveryday
  • RT @Alpro_UK: We’re whipping up our hazelnut orange custard @RiverCottage – it's one of our fave autumn treats! #cookeveryday link
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a new Head Chef here at the Plymouth Canteen link
  • RT @thetimes: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on how his mum taught him to bake, only in today's @thetimes (@rivercottage) link
  • RT @comeconella: @rivercottage all things butternut! #cookeveryday
  • @JayAllen33 @RiverCottageHQ good question! Let's ask @lambposts...
  • RT @CoopFayB: @rivercottage blackberry & apple crumble. Perfect from the picking through to the eating. #cookeveryday
  • RT @renc_g: @rivercottage My fave autumn treat? It's spring in Oz, so I'm gonna say rhubarb!! #cookeveryday
  • RT @violetpsyche: @rivercottage My favourite autumn treat: has to be treacle toffee. #cookeveryday
  • Happy Monday all! #20 on #cookeveryday is favourite autumn treats (edible or otherwise) - let's hear them now... link
  • RT @violetpsyche: @rivercottage Veg I grow in my garden: None this year. I grow fruit and want to grow more veg, if slugs will let me! #coo…
  • RT @truss_abbie: @rivercottage #cookeveryday grow veg on my allotment but in the garden is fennel...lots of other herbs and wild garlic in …
  • #19 for #cookeveryday is all about veg. What do you grow in your garden? #growyourown link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: . @rivercottage we love ALL cheese, especially that made by @tomthecheese on our course! link #cooker…
  • RT @lisa_spelling: @rivercottage all of them!! But especially Waterloo and stinking bishop and sharpham rustic with a large glass of port! …
  • RT @renc_g: @rivercottage Cheese of choice? Too hard! I love them all! Something French, creamy & smelly... Mmm... #cookeveryday
  • Morning #cookeveryday fans! Time for #18, what's your favourite cheese? link
  • Hugh helped raise money for #StandUpToCancer with @starservice! Can you help too? link
  • RT @rose_rambles: @rivercottage My family's favourite cake to make & eat: vanilla sponge filled with cream & sliced pear #cookeveryday http…
  • RT @whitstabob: @rivercottage it's presently Lemon, lavender and almond because it's the only edible one I've ever made! link
  • #17 for #cookeveryday: what's your favourite cake to make / eat? Go! link
  • Hungry? Find high welfare meat retailers near you link @PigBusiness link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Come together to toast the #festive period with a seasonal aperitif & a roaring log fire in our yurt. Book now! http://…
  • RT @johnmushroom: @rivercottage #cookeveryday. Not yet mastered? Pastry. But how hard can it be? River Cottage Handbook needed, I think.
  • Keep your #cookeveryday answers coming - what cookery course would you like to do? What skill have you yet to master? link
  • Vote with your wallet. Watch @PigBusiness’ 3-minute video and sign the #PigPledge link
  • Today's #cookeveryday is: what's your ideal cookery course? What would you most like to learn? #cookeryschool
  • The new 3 minute #PigPledge video reveals the true cost of cheap pork - watch, share and sign! link
  • RT @BloomsburyCooks: Fantastic day today spent down in the farm @rivercottage - we got to ride on a tractor?! WINNING link
  • Keep your favourite chefs coming in - and remember to tag with #cookeveryday. Lots of love for @jamieoliver @rick_stein @Ottolenghi, Hugh...
  • RT @Lanzy_88: @rivercottage fav chefs wud have to be Hugh and the Hairy Bikers #cookeveryday
  • @hugo_harrison Assume you've seen Hugh's new one, #lightandeasy? It's packed with #wheatfree and #dairyfree recipes: link
  • RT @WinCanteen: Who's coming to meet Hugh tomorrow? He will be here at 10.30am to meet guests and sign his new book @rivercottage
  • RT @renc_g: @rivercottage My fave chef/cook..? I do love Hugh and @jamieoliver too. Keep fighting your good fights boys! #cookeveryday
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: The amazing talent Elise Yuill will be playing on Weds 15 October, come and enjoy beautiful music while you dine. http…
  • RT @ddtcm: @rivercottage #cookeveryday Keith Floyd. Full of enthusiasm and an inspiration. He was a legend.
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

Forgotten your password? Retrieve it here
Or connect via Facebook
Connect with Facebook
Join River Cottage
Close
Shopping basket: 0 items £0.00