Tesco, cheap food and farmers markets.


Tesco is ubiquitous in the UK. On our recent visit, there was one located two hundred yards away from Jennie’s house in Plymouth, and immediately behind the Brook Green Hotel in London. Eyebrows arched just a bit when we identified Plymouth’s older public market building downtown as a destination; even though our hosts lamented the British public’s proclivity to buy only what is least expensive and on special at supermarkets, obviously it would be a much longer commute from the northside to the market than merely walking to the Tesco. We enjoyed the market, nonetheless: Butchers, bakers, green grocers and pasty makers were there, alongside the usual ephemera. As an aside, we visited the New Albany Farmers Market on Saturday before heading to Indianapolis, and I’ve never seen it more crowded. Is it time to commence Saturday morning block parties?

Tesco boss says cheap food era is over; Philip Clarke admits prices will rise as poll finds UK shoppers would pay more to back farmers, by Jay Rayner (Guardian)

Major food price rises are all but inevitable, the chief executive of Britain’s biggest supermarket chain has admitted. Speaking exclusively to the Observer, Philip Clarke of Tesco, which was heavily implicated in the horsemeat scandal, said that rising global demand means the historic low prices to which British consumers have become used are now unsustainable.

“Over the long run I think food prices and the proportion of income spent on food may well be going up,” he said. “Because of growing demand it is going to change. It is the basic law of supply and demand.”