Is Tesco an Ethical Market Leader Essay

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Pages: 4

Is Tesco an ethical market leader?

Tesco is one of the cheapest priced supermarkets and has a much larger market share than any other supermarket in the UK. Tesco has become the first UK retailer to unveil profits of more than £2bn. However, Tesco is profiting at the expense of farmers in the UK and overseas, the environment and local shops in the UK. I will examine the factors that make Tesco so profitable and the cost their desire for market supremacy has on others.

In 2001, Tony Blair claimed that British supermarkets had farmers in an ‘armlock’. Supermarkets control nearly 80% of the British grocery market and this makes them powerful enough to dictate terms, conditions and prices to suppliers. If suppliers complain, supermarkets
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Apart from posing a threat to human health, pesticide use results in pollution of farmland and water supplies.

Large supermarkets like Tesco are constantly trying to gain a greater market share and small independent stores and suppliers are paying the price because of unfair competition. Between 1997 and 2002, 50 specialised stores like butches, bakers, fishmongers and newsagents closed every week. Many people believe that chain retailers like Tesco steal the identity of UK towns and cities.

I asked 20 people to complete my questionnaire on Tesco’s ethics (sample questionnaire attached). My questionnaire results revealed that most people thought that a business should not care more about its profits than its ethics – only two people said that it should. However, everyone I asked said that they think Tesco cares more about profits than ethics. Everybody I asked also said they believe that big chain supermarkets like Tesco are partly responsible for the crisis in British farming. For the question ‘Do you think that Tesco should try to do something to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions in the UK?’, all but one said yes and when I asked that person why they said ‘because it would make it harder for the business to grow’. Everyone believed that it was not ethical that Tesco made no overall reduction in the level of pesticide residues in its food between 2998 and 2002. 15 out of the 20