Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Dont call it a comback ...

So here here we go go again round round the same ole roundabout of food waste and the Supermarkets.
Tescos rather worringly published its own report into its own Food Waste and suprise surprise they chuck out quite a lot and apparently we chuck out two thirds of what we buy from them too.
Rather less suprising than the interconnectedness of all things these two sins are tied together like two children in a three legged race trying to coordinate an orderly advancement and more often than not falling into a pile of dirt as our food does as it goes to landfill.
You see Tesco and the other Supermarkets activly encourage food waste by enticing you to purchase what you dont need with two for ones three for twos and a number of varying mathimatical combernations designed to bamboozal you in to convincing youselves that your getting a great deal when in fact there real intention is to get you to take more of the produce they screw there suppliers to give them for pennies, and often using short shelf life perishables or washed products with "use within 24 hours of opening"emblazoned on its pretty label as bait.
However it must be said we need to become more savvy to these 'tools of the giant company" trade.
Supermarket folk are not silly there primary objective is to make money for their shareholders not a crime I hear you say and you are quite right however the use of such tecniques and other subtle methods encouraging you to buy what you dont need and often dont want show a clear disreguard for either consumer,customer and in this Country where food banks have almost caught up with pay day loan companies as Britains fastest growing industries shows little more than contempt !
I first raised these issues many moons ago and am glad they are being highlighted if not addressed and hope that you follow my little guide into preventing food waste and over spending on your fresh produce.


lets hope im not making a comeback in a few years time saying the same ole thing again 


Monday, 17 December 2012

Making a "ricket"

While enjoying my once weekly ritual of reading through the "Sundays" in between various chores,breakfast making and tea supping I stumbled across an article discussing the falling sales of fresh produce(a phenomenon I am we'll versed In) and drawing parallels to the malnourished youth,and the rise of cases of Victorian diseases such as rickets and as usual my eyebrows scrunched and thinking cap in place a eureka moment POW !
As you are aware our previous administration probably on the well intentioned advice supermarket man launched the "five a day" campaign which was designed to improve the health of the nation via fruit and indeed it captured the imagination of a nation even my 8 year old son proudly boasts when eating fresh produce "that's one of my five a day dad" but unfortunately this has backfired massively as food producers and supermarkets have been allowed to hijack the campaign and proudly boast on there tins of soup,processed fruits,juice made from concentrate and foods with 18 months shelf life "PART OF YOUR FIVE A DAY" yes in essence they are part of the afore mentioned food group but none of them have the goodness of "proper" fresh fruit and vegetables full of the necessary nutrition and vitamins our children need.
So in reality big business had hoodwinked us into believing that we are all well and healthy as we pick up out lunchtime pack of prepared fruit from supermarket man or a warm cup of tomato soup but nothing could be further from the truth and the lack of nutrition perticullally vitamin D has led to the rise in disease so in fact they "making a ricket"

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Ranting in the fresh produce journal

Any business rate increases in the current economic climate would be disastrous for greengrocers, according to several leading businesses.

Chancellor George Osborne had been widely tipped to cover business rates as part of his Autumn Statement this week, however nothing was mentioned and with rates increasing by 4.6 per cent in 2011 and 5.6 per cent this year, the British Retail Consortium has criticised the government for not clarifying if there would be any further rise.

“The Chancellor should have removed the threat of a further 2.6 per cent, £175 million rate increase next April to avoid more empty shops; this issue needs tackling urgently,” said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC.

Three quarters of MPs currently believe trading costs should be brought under control as a way of halting high street decline, while two thirds would back a complete freeze on business rates next year, according to the BRC.

“Rates on the high street have almost doubled over the last 10 years; a further rise would be terminal for a lot of greengrocers,” said Andreas Georghiou, owner of Andreas Veg.

Georghiou owns two greengrocers based in Chelsea and Chiswick, and says that despite the Mary Portas review giving independent businesses greater publicity, the government has continued to move away in the opposite direction.

“We are essentially at the hardest part of the retail food chain as even with a 50 per cent margin you’re only making 5p an apple. There has to be a tiered level of rating on rates or greengrocers are in grave danger of disappearing.”

Christopher Bavin, owner of Walton-on-Thames based award-winning greengrocer The Naked Grocer, echoed Georghiou’s fears. “The correlation between rent and rates has now completely fallen out of kilter, and with every utility from transport and wages to waste management all going up, a business rate increase would be the kiss of death,” said Bavin.

Cooperation is the name of the game

It was fabulous having Franco Fubini M.D. of Natoora along with Fedi and Tim talking and mingling with our customers in Chiswick while displaying some of there impressive produce.
The most significant feature of this mini event I believe is that two companies one a specialist retailer and one a very specialist restaurant supplier with a strong online presence(including adding some finesse to ocardo) can work together without suspicion and with honesty and integrity to spread the "word" so to speak.
It shows also that in greengrocery we are attempting to use these collaborations for the greater good of the most important of people ... the customer !
Co-operation is my friends the name of the game in the now and the very essence of the future of fresh produce marketing and sales in the independent sector

Andreas and Franco

Monday, 3 December 2012

Me doing mushrooms


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Wild mushroom tasting

Come to our wild mushroom tasting today at Andreas Chelsea

Monday, 26 November 2012

"Not Mushroom at the bar"

We had a magnificent evening at Charlottes Bistro talking Mushrooms on the first "Food evening" which Alex and his team hope to make a regular event.
it was a fun packed evening with some great discussion and cooking with a great audience.
my personal feeling is that collaborations like this are very important for small independent community based businesses.
We also showcased our new house olive oil from the Gay Farmer.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hiding the costs in plain sight

The term hiding in plain sight has been used a lot recently in various news stories of an unsavoury nature however today's publication of which,s year long investigation into supermarkets shows practises of described as "shifty" and "plain daft" are rife amongst the major high street players.
Now in any market cafe the conversations between traders often highlight examples of supermarket over pricing and dodgy dealing.
It's true that the convenience supermarkets offer is attractive in many time poor lives,however it's nothing short of disgraceful practice that this is prayed on,fooling unsuspecting consumers into buying what they believe to be special offers perticullally the infamous 2 for 1 appearing to offer great deals but in reality they offer far from that !.
For example Marks and Spencer's offer four Granny Smith apples for £2.29 or two packs for £4 which at first with a saving of 58p seems to be a reasonable deal until you realise that that makes the cost a whopping £3.50 a kilo that's over 100% dearer than we charge in our shops !.
another example from Waitrose offers baby new potatoes in 400 gram packets for £1.60 extortion in any currency however again they offer two for £3 which again with a 40p "saving" seems alright but again over 100 % dearer than my shops and there are countless of examples of this slight of hand and it appears that the illusion of saving money as opposed to the actual saving of money is allowed to flourish even in these cash tight times by simply plonking products in front of our eyes thus literally "hiding the cost in plain view"


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Olive oil tasting in Chiswick

Darren is having an olive oil tasting with the fabulous Gay Farmer himself Mark and his magnificent oil

Friday, 16 November 2012

Small Adventures in Cooking

Nice words from James Ramsden

"What can I say about Andreas? Not only is his produce the best in London, not only does he bring it to your door, not only will he find you any quirky vegetal comestible you can dream of, but he is perhaps the nicest man you'll ever meet." James Ramsden

Wild mushroom mayhem

Really delighted to be hosting wild mushroom night at Charlottes Bistro the first of what we hope to be many food related events at this magnificent local eatery.
I shall be chatting cooking dispelling some myths and maybe creating some others.
Pop along from 7pm on Wednesday 21st of November for what should be a riot !

Monday, 12 November 2012

Mushroom night with Charlottes Bistro

I shall be extolling the virtues of wild mushrooms at the fabulous Charlottes Bistro on Wednesday 21st of November from 7pm
pop along and sample some exquisite creations cooked by Greg Martin and pick up a tip or two this is a free event in the bar area and should be a cracker