Feedback response to Sainsbury’s and Asda merger

30th Apr 18 by Carina Millstone, Executive Director

Our groceries retail market is already one of the most concentrated in the world.

In response to news of a planned merger between supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Asda, with the combined group controlling as much as 30% of the groceries retail market, Carina Millstone, Executive Director of Feedback, said:

“The news of Sainsbury’s planned merger with Asda is poor tidings for farmers – and anyone concerned with building a resilient food system in the UK. Our groceries retail market is already one of the most concentrated in the world. This leaves farmers and other suppliers with little bargaining power and vulnerable to practices such as last minute order cancellations and inaccurate forecasting, which often leads farmers to overproduce crops to ensure they can meet orders.

Our research has shown time and time again that these practices lead to huge amounts of food waste on farms in the UK and overseas – contributing to the depletion of our dwindling natural resources and alarming erosion of soils. A balanced, resilient groceries market that can respond to climate change and other market shocks would see a wide diversity of enterprises within the food sector, with different models, scales and ownership structures. If this merger goes ahead we’ll take another step towards a top heavy market dominated by a few players with little interest in protecting the sustainability of the system or the interests of the farmers who feed us.”

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