Richard Moore: Put up with rip off?

By Straight Talk - by Richard Moore


A few weeks back I was having a moan about the price of fresh food in our supermarkets and now it seems I've got a few high-profile supporters.

According to a Green Party survey, supermarkets in this country are regularly marking up fruit and vegetables between 100 and 300 per cent.

And the investigation also shows that growers are finding it difficult to make ends meet because of the low prices they are getting from supermarkets for their goods.

More than 120 growers were questioned and Green MP Sue Kedgley said most were being forced to sell their stuff for less than it cost to produce.

So who is making all the profits then?

Well, it seems that in some cases the supermarkets are getting margins of more than 800 per cent on goods.

These include growers being paid $2 for 20 avocados that later turn up on shelves at an 880 per cent markup, if you don't mind umpire.

And while inflation has sent food prices skyrocketing, one apple grower is getting 50 cents per kilo of his goods - the same as he got in 1998!

Now, surprisingly, the supermarkets have poo-pooed these claims'coz they reckon they are wonderful community-minded organisations.

Foodstuffs' managing director (4 Square, New World and Pak n' Save) Steve Anderson said the allegations were "blatant and deliberate misinformation".

A spokesman for Progressive (Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown) said the figures were "grossly inaccurate".

Now did you note that neither came up with any figures of their own?

They just hide behind the mask of secrecy.

Generally, when corporates feign indignity it's only to throw people off and the claim of inaccuracy is an automatic position taken by anyone who doesn't want further exploration of their affairs.

As I did, Kedgley is calling for an inquiry into supermarket pricing practices and she wants a code of conduct introduced to keep them in line.

Hear, hear.

It's time every voter, angry at the food-pricing rip-off in this country, wrote to their local MP and told them to deal with supermarket profiteering.

***

By crikey, I'm glad I'm not an All Blacks supporter.

The last thing I'd fancy for the next couple of months would be to be as celibate as the Pope.

Fancy any advertising duffer thinking that rugby fans would give up sex to somehow spur the All Blacks on to a cup-drought-ending crescendo of ecstasy. After all, rugby is about booze, broads and bonking, is it not?

And didn't Telecom back away from the ad campaign faster than the London police from a mob of hooded lowlifes?

The communications giant could barely be heard as they disappeared over the horizon. Well, I suppose the service could have dropped out.

Phone chief Paul Reynolds reckons the ad was not a campaign, just a leak of an idea.

Nice spin, Paul, shame few of us believe it.

***

I am just so pleased that my favourite piece of clothing has made it into the dictionary.

It's joining Woot!, textspeak, sexting, retweet and cyberbullying.

The words are among 400 new entities that have been introduced to the 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

The people who have put together the new dictionary have also added abbreviations such as OMG (Oh My God) and LOL (Laugh Out Loud). I bet WTF isn't in there.

Anyway, in a move that will gladden the hearts of fashion designers the world around, the new addition to the words edition is one that I will be sporting once the weather warms up a tad.

It is, of course, a mankini - made famous by that wonderful TV reporter Borat.

His lime green mankini was a head (and stomach) turner, while mine will be a much more conservative dark-blue.

Dark-blue ... latex.

***

My goodness, whatever happened to the tough, conquer-the-world attitude of German young volk?

It seems they have turned from goosestepping Hitler Youth fighting off Soviet tanks to being sooky boys.

Take the little wimp from Aachen who called up the cops and dobbed his mother in because she was making him do "forced labour". That's what we here call house chores.

richard@richardmoore.com

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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