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to buy my groceries in Asda even though it comes out worst (with Tesco) in ethical shopping lists?

54 replies

Nospringflower · 06/05/2013 10:57

Can't decide where to do online shop. Waitrose comes out best but is dearest, Sainsburys middle and Asda bottom of ethical lists but cheapest eg milk £1.49 instead of £1.89 but think they screw the farmers. Should I think of my cash or think of the bigger good (as I can afford to shop in any of them).

OP posts:
Tee2072 · 06/05/2013 14:37

You're delusional to think the high street shops and even the designer brands don't use sweatshops. They do just as much as ASDA/Wal-Mart etc do.

AllFallDown · 06/05/2013 14:39

I'm not missing the point. I agree an unfocused boycott achieves nothing; a boycott where the target of ire is known can achieve lots. Hence my point about trade union activism

You're missing the point: embracing sweatshop produce as enthusiastically as you suggest will only encourage employers to change nothing, because the consumer is showing there is no need for them to do so ? there being no economic penalty.

Nospringflower · 06/05/2013 15:14

Tee2027 - I am getting the information from websites that look at companies ethical policies/actions on a range of criteria and it is from that that Asda, Primark, Tesco etc get their low ratings (and expensive shops - mulberry also being one of the worst) so it's not just personal opinion.

OP posts:
Tee2072 · 06/05/2013 16:19

Yes and it must be true because you're reading it on some internet site... Hmm

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 16:23

I agree with tee tbh just buy what you like where you like you could spend a life time making sure you are doing the 'right thing' but life is way to short imo

Tee2072 · 06/05/2013 16:27

Man, lots of people have been agreeing with me lately. These smart pills are really working! Grin

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 16:32

bask in it tee I think you are very sensible Grin

Tee2072 · 06/05/2013 16:32

I was told to get off my high horse on Saturday, so it's nice to be thought sensible. Grin

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 16:34

OH i have been high horsey it is fine today I agree with you another day I will be Hmm

joanofarchitrave · 06/05/2013 16:35

"you could spend a life time making sure you are doing the 'right thing'"

hear hear

joanofarchitrave · 06/05/2013 16:38

what i do think is true is that the stuff that is packaged as 'good'/'ethical' is frequently pretty problematic

i also think we should consider economies of scale in energy etc - a lot less wasteful to buy plastic cakes in iceland made by the trillion in a single large oven rather than have us all individually turning on our inefficient half-empty ovens to make cupcakes

but none of this IMO makes it ok to go 'i am deliberately not going to give a crap about anyone else'

Nospringflower · 06/05/2013 16:52

I know you can spend loads of time trying to do the right thing (spent hours slithering about supermarkets this morning Grin) but if you KNOW a place is bad it seems wrong to shop there.

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mrsjay · 06/05/2013 16:54

yes I agree with you too yes if you know and it bothers you then of course dont shop I think that is what tee meant shop and buy where and what you like, make your own choice

ivanapoo · 06/05/2013 17:03

What's wrong with trying to do the right thing ffs? What a shit attitude.

If life is too short to think about the impact you might have on others and the world around you occasionally, how come you have so much time to piss about on mumsnet?

OP shop in Waitrose - they're far from perfect but treat their suppliers a bit better and have a good selection of stuff.

joanofarchitrave · 06/05/2013 17:04

i felt tee was saying, make an active choice to buy from developing countries that are in the game for the big contracts, as if a big brand is involved the setup is larger scale and there is more attention on the conditions for the workers. Fair point.

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 17:05

nothing is wrong with trying to do the right thing but if you tried to do the right thing in every purchase or bit of food then as i said before your head will explode,

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 17:06

i felt tee was saying, make an active choice to buy from developing countries that are in the game for the big contracts, as if a big brand is involved the setup is larger scale and there is more attention on the conditions for the workers. Fair point.

this too

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 17:07

oh ivana I have really pissed you off eh, sorry you took what i said the wrong way no need to get so Angry about it

ivanapoo · 06/05/2013 17:09

Sorry mrsjay I got a bit AIBU-angry there. I just hate "life's too short" as an excuse for people to make selfish choices.

I see your point about it being easy to tie yourself up in knots about making the right decision every time though.

mrsjay · 06/05/2013 17:20

I probably seemed flippant I didnt mean too I do try and make good choices and it isn't always possible , you did get a bit ARGHHH but thats ok Grin

Tee2072 · 06/05/2013 17:38

That's exactly what I meant.

I'm totally stony broke, but I still manage to do what I can, i.e. buy fairtrade coffee. But I a) there is no Waitrose in NI so I can't shop there and b) I can't afford to buy everything ethically.

I do care about other people. But at this point in my life I have to mostly be concerned about my family and feeding and clothing them.

My son would have no clothes if I was concerned about where every piece of clothing he wears is made. So I shop at Primark and Tesco and ASDA and he's covered and warm and gets to wear the same characters his friends do. He's only 3.10 so not quite worried about fashion yet. Grin

And that isn't going to change any time soon. I'm one of those hidden disability people the government hates who is too well for DLA (or whatever it is now) and too ill to hold down a job so I freelance when I can get work. My husband makes a fairly good wage but hasn't had a real raise in, probably, 10 years, so not keeping up with the cost of everything. I almost cried when I saw Tesco milk, which I know is ethically produced and fairly paid for, had gone up 2p a litre. That's an additional 12p a week of my grocery money, which sounds like nothing unless you are as tightly budgeted as I am. So I've switched to a brand I don't know the ethos of because both my son and my husband love milk and the other brand is nearly 20p cheaper for 2 litres.

So if you have the time, energy and money to research and be ethical (whatever the fuck that means these days) go for it. I don't and just maybe never will.

higgle · 06/05/2013 17:44

Asda have a greater range of vegetarian foods than any of the other large supermarkets, and it is cheaper - encouraging people not to eat meat sounds pretty ethical to me.

Sparrowp · 06/05/2013 20:45

I found Sainsburys was cheaper than Asda actually, and I am not happy shopping at Asda because they are so unethical in the way they treat the staff in the the store.

Waitrose is lovely when you can afford it.

rainbowslollipops · 06/05/2013 21:21

Online shopping wise I always go with Asda. I spend just over £100 a month on a big shop for dd and I and found I can make food last longer. I buy milk from my local newsagents for £1 same thing with bread is £1 and I freeze that. Sainsburys for me is expensive. But we do have a lidl so I'm very lucky there and also one day a week the market is out in our local village so.I take full blown advantage of the food there. (good size block of Stilton for £2 Grin )

Nospringflower · 06/05/2013 22:12

I think the problem is that Asda / Walmart are known for unethical practices including being poor employers, using low paid workers, screwing the farmers for rock bottom prices and using low paid workers in poor conditions and child labour in their clothes production. But (or as a result) they are cheaper and therefore expletive with little financial choice have to buy from them, even if they would prefer not to. And then you have the folk who don't give a shit or believe it is good to employ people in poor conditions as it is better than being unemployed. Anyway, thanks to everyone for making me see that I should go with companies with a god ethical reputation since I care about it and can afford to chose.

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