I am writing this letter more in vain than in hope.
You opened a huge new superstore near me in a bog in Co. Cavan, not long over a year ago now. When you opened it was a miracle! Suddenly we had a shop that supplied dragon fruit, fresh tuna and papparadelle. It was a miracle - no a mirage - in a bog.
The locals had never seen the like and the "foodies" were in heaven as they had no longer to drive to Dublin to get ingredients.
I was able to tell my sister, resident in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, that I could get her celery seeds so that she could pickle her glut of cucumbers. Who would have thought? (or if you are on Facebook - who would "of" thought?)
It was sheer bliss; but like the megastore you opened in Bloomfield in Dun Laoghaire with it's stunning fish display; it was short-lived. You realised - no profit realised - that Cavan people were, "meat and two veg" and not much else, so the rest of us, could get lost.
The dragon fruit was replaced with swede and parsnip and the tuna with chicken fillet.
The pasta aisle diminished from De Cecchi to Dolmio, from oricchiette to short-cut macaroni.
The spice racks from galangal to cinnamon.
We, foodies were of no importance. But to be fair we realised that you had profit margins and shareholders to consider.
However, the final straw was - as far as I am concerned, your decision to stop stocking free range chicken. We here in Ireland have access to British television though Sky. We are aware of Jamie Oliver's campaign to try to improve the plight of the intensively-reared chicken. Some of us actually care that chickens have horrendous lives. But your care is only "lip service". The free range chicken in Bailieboro does not sell so instead of making the effort to sell, you take the easy way out and stock the intensive stuff.
Your staff in Bailieboro are probably the nicest and most helpful in Ireland but they haven't a clue about food. You don't bother to invest the time to train them. So the friendliest staff have no idea of the hapless lives the chickens lead that they sell on the shelves. It's no wonder that they look at me like I have ten heads when I ask, "where are the free range chickens"?
I know your answer before I ask - profit margins.
But sometimes principle must come before profit; even in the multi-nationals. Sometimes it is right to do something even if it does not make a profit. Sometimes a company has to be reputable. You are a British multiple trading in Ireland. You are responsible for the displacement of many local retailers and suppliers. You have a responsibility, albeit a moral responsibility to consider the welfare of animals you supply as meat. You have responsibility to your customers, to give them the option to make the right decision. Do you care? Do you heck?
Tesco Free Range Chicken Jamie Oliver Galangal De Cecci Dolmio Celery Seed Cavan