Opinion Former Video

Use your loaf! - Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union

They know what you're thinking.

When faced with two identical loaves of bread, the supermarkets which dominate our grocery sector will confidently predict which one you're likely to go for.

The one with the brand you recognise? Maybe.

Whichever one is cheapest? Probably.

Supermarkets understand price can often be decisive. So they place intense pressure on their food suppliers to keep the costs down.

Those suppliers might make efficiency savings to start off with. Just like the coalition government has claimed to be doing in Whitehall.

But what politicians, and supermarkets, want you to think is that you can make cuts like this without having an impact.

Sooner or later the cuts get so deep they start compromising the quality of the product itself.

Just as the quality of the public services you rely on are getting worse because of a politically driven austerity drive...

... so the quality of the bread you buy in the shops is getting worse because of a commercially driven bid to increase supermarkets' profits.

That remorseless attempt to keep prices low means quality quickly gets sacrificed when it comes to health and safety, wages, and even the standard of the ingredients.

Those two loaves might look the same when you buy them, but cheaper ingredients mean the more expensive one will last longer.

Where workers' rights are protected - when your food is produced by fully-trained staff working in safe and secure conditions - quality tends to be higher as the managers are forced to look for alternatives.

So next time you face this simple choice, ask yourself this: do you really expect to get the same standard of product if you pay less for it?

If you have to throw away half the bread because it goes mouldy, is the cheaper option really the kind of bargain you want to be making?

Is your choice going to cost workers their jobs, putting them on benefits that you as a taxpayer will have to pay for?

You may think you're getting a better deal when you choose that cheaper loaf of bread. But low prices come at a cost.

So next time you're choosing your food... use your loaf!

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