The Scottish Greens have rated the top four supermarkets for their response to the coronavirus crisis, with all four showing room for improvement.
Analysis from the Greens has marked the supermarkets on three essential factors needed to ensure a just food supply during the pandemic. These are:
• Supporting the supply chain to ensure producers can keep supplying food
• Working with charities and emergency food providers to ensure no one goes hungry
• Prioritising vulnerable customers, so all those self-isolating can access food delivery services, including those without internet access.
Evaluating each retailer’s policies and responses to correspondence from Scottish Greens food and farming spokesperson Mark Ruskell, the report shows Morrisons scoring ‘good’ for the first two and ‘excellent’ for prioritising vulnerable customers, while Asda scored a ‘could do better’ rating for supporting suppliers and charities.
Commenting, Mark Ruskell said: “The dominance of four chains in the food industry has given these retailers enormous power, and with that comes great responsibility, especially during a public health crisis like the one we are in.
“It’s clear that when it comes to these responsibilities, some are doing better than others. Farmers and foodbanks must get the support they need to respond to the needs of the country. Suppliers must be paid promptly, charities need supplies and financial support more than ever, and vulnerable people must be prioritised when it comes to delivery slots.
“It’s time for supermarkets to work with the Scottish Government to improve these things, especially when they are seeing unprecedented profits and the plastic bag charge has been suspended. Then, when we emerge from this crisis, the power balance in the food chain should be corrected.”