Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pak’n Save as farmers’ market

The business section of Friday’s Waikato Times had this story on its front page:
Competition watchdog the Commerce Commission will consider next week a complaint by Farmers Markets New Zealand against Pak’n Save for comparing itself to “a Farmer’s Market – only indoors” in a current advertising campaign.
Farmers Markets said the advertising breaches the Fair Trading Act and “grossly misleads” Kiwi shoppers.
Farmers Markets is a community of independent growers and artisan food producers who meet regularly in cities and towns to sell seasonal, locally produced food direct to the public. The food is produced in a defined area, with no middlemen, supply contracts or bulk buying agreements.
Farmers Markets vice-president Jonathan Walker, a Waikato bacon and sausage producer, said the supermarket was attempting to piggyback on the good name, growth and success of the group.
“Pak’n Save supermarkets do not resemble Farmers Markets in any way. They do not sell only food, the people who produce the food do not sell it, and the food is not grown or made only in a defined local region,” he said.
The photo above is of Cambridge Farmers’ Market this morning. As you can see it’s like a Pak’n Save supermarket  only outdoors.

Unlike a supermarket, at a farmers’ market the fruit and vegetables were picked the day before – in some cases, that morning. Freshness is all – the apples we buy every Saturday are amazing. And when we buy flounder, we know they were speared the night before. 

Supermarkets are a very good thing and they can always compete on price (not always successfully) but they can never, never ever compete on taste.   


Stephanie said...

And don't forget the personal service from the grower - quite different from the friendly but basically impersonal service from PaknSave staff who know very little about the products they stack on shelves or check out at the cash register.

At the Farmer's market, you can ask questions about how it was grown, literally, tips on growing your own, when it was harvested, how to cook it to get the best from the purchase, etc, etc.

Heading off now to my local for salad greens ....

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes, the personal touch is everything. I get good growing advice from Gillian of Ten54 Limes and she follows my adventures with making lime pickle; Carrie and Tommy from Wholly Cow are very sound on their beef and what to do with it; Jonathan Walker from the Stuff story quoted is a fount of knowledge (and grateful recipient of recipes from my wife) - it's a two-way process.

Pak'n Save is a good thing but it's not this good.