Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TV chef leads fight against supermarkets

The Independent

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the television chef and champion of small producers, is fronting a new offensive against the supermarkets which he portrays as a "bullying" force destroying British food.
The Channel 4 presenter will denounce the supermarkets at a public meeting in Westminster tonight and demand new powers to limit their growth.
Four campaign groups are behind the event, Supersized Supermarkets: Friends of the Earth, War on Want, ActionAid and the anti-Tesco website Tescopoly. They are asking the public to write to their MPs and the Competition Commissioner to make five demands, ranging from a new consumer watchdog to stronger labour rights.
The Commissioner is investigating whether the supermarket groups, which take 72 per cent of grocery spending in the UK, are abusing their dominant position.
Campaigners argue that stores harm the environment, diminish local communities and bully suppliers over prices and councils over planning permission.


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