Hold your horses!

Posted on 21 Feb 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Did you know they put horsemeat in cheap beef burgers and ready meals?

A few weeks ago this was shocking news to millions of people, but it’s fast becoming common knowledge. We watched as the scandal hit the mass market news and as outrage, mirth, blame and witty puns flew around the media in equal measure…

And still, after weeks, horsegate gallops on! It’s grim, it’s widespread – and it’s shining a light on the food industry and getting people thinking about what’s in their food.

Two years ago when hiSbe first started talking about the problems in our food system and the impact it’s having on people’s health, the environment, workers, farmers, communities and animal welfare, people looked at us blankly. When we talked about how the food industry urgently needs to become more ethical and sustainable some even chortled!

But since then we’ve watched the seeds of change grow around us and an explosion of action to tackle our broken food system… we’ve had Hugh’s Fish Fight, Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket and The People’s Supermarket showing people how inefficient and wasteful a food system dominated by massive producers and retailers is. We’ve seen so-called “green” organisations like the Soil Association, Greenpeace, Oxfam and WSPA get really good at reaching out and explaining the issues around food to people. We’ve watched the local food movement grow and thrive and the real food movement create a joined up network. We’ve followed Red Tractor and the NFU’s work on championing and labelling products that meet legislation on food standards. We’ve seen people like CIWF, Fairtrade UK and LEAF working to raise those standards. We’ve noticed a wave of more responsible retailers and brands grow out of the demand for better food. We’ve watched dairy farmers fight back over unfair price fixing and communities fight back over supermarket dominance…

That’s all just in the last two years.

Most importantly, we see more and more people asking questions about their supermarket food and saying “no, this isn’t good enough…” Yes, we know cheap food isn’t chef-tastic but it should at the very least be safe, legal, honestly labelled and be what it says it is. That it NOT too much to ask, that is a very basic level of customer service that we expect. The responsibilty lies firmly at the feet of the supermarkets and big food brands to know what’s in their food and be honest about it instead of hiding the facts.

Some supermarkets are making efforts to change, but making lasting sustainable change in organisations of their size is like turning around an oil tanker – its a long, slow process. So in the meantime, we encourage everyone to be part of the solution by using their shopper power to make different choices.

We’re also starting a supermarket chain from scratch and doing things the hiSbe way – putting fairness and transparency at the heart of everything we do, and making better quality food more affordable. That’s how it Should be. Why? Because people are starting to wise up and realise that they can’t just blindly trust the supermarkets and big food brands to do what’s right. Our food system is broken, the evidence of it is all around us and better information means more people are making better informed everyday food choices. This funny little vid says it all…

Stock image from fotalia.co.uk

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