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RSPCA - free-range: supermarkets are at it again

Terry Boyle

Goodness me! It wasn’t that long ago that 7 bottled water companies got pulled up for claiminmg their water was organic when it can’t be because water is not organic. Organic is a method of farming. But 'credence claims' like these, associations via market-speak and celebrities sell because the drivers of consumers are rooted in both social and emotional needs. Yes, social and emotional needs to purchase products that make them healthy. So emotional blackmail and credence claims are part of modern marketing for many and every now and then, the ACCC pulls someone up for ripping people off. And of course the big players who bastardize markets are in on it in every way - they are at the fore. Though they claim not to be, they are at it yet again, blackmail that is.

All these ‘market-speak’ terms and manipulations by big supermarkets and mass producers about being RSPCA approved almost sounds like they actually offer authentic free-range and really organic products? Bring in Jami Oliver (Woolworths), and the puritan surfer-celeb-chef, Curtis Stone (Coles), two who continuously espouse healthy eating, add the RSPCA and you’ve almost got a healthy image.

Here are two Australian suppliers of free-range product - can you spot the supermarket 'RSPCA approved' free range supplier? (TIP 1- it is not the one on the right! TIP 2 - the one on the right supplies Your Organic Markets)

Rhodes Free rangeWalker free range

How much trouble must the supermarkets go to convince consumers their fears are not founded, or if they were, they no longer need to be, that their mass-produced unnatural chemically infected and interfered with products are now good for you.  This latest ‘RSPCA approved’ and ‘free range’ are just tools of misrepresentation at worst and meaningless at best. But, it is a demonstration of a cultural hegemony and market-speak that is typical of super-market manipulators.

The facts are that farmers and those who are in the industry of authentic free-range, organic and organic farming say the RSPCA-branded chicken is ‘a hollow marketing tactic and the supermarket giants were using devious advertising doublespeak to disguise the real impacts on farmers’, and I add, consumers too.

Australian Chicken Growers Council president Mike Shaw said the Coles' advertisements gave the impression that the new range was comparable to free range production. (I assume he means real free-range as opposed to Coles and Woolies one bird on an A4 sized piece of paper?)

"This is not the case,'' Mr Shaw said.

"Consumers are being duped into paying increased prices for their food with no scientific basis for the claims that this change is providing enhanced animal welfare".

"They are in fact being denied choice by the supermarkets". (Ain’t that the truth)!

The big players could not give a hoot about anyone’s health one iota! They live to control supply chains and to control the value add on products (i.e. to package them in certain ways, and to add ingredients to make them taste different etc) to make more money, sell more product, and make more money, and sell more product and... well, we are not telling you anything new here are we.

Remember the Heart Foundation at one stage gave the TICK to some McDonald’s products. So how hollow is the RSPCA approval and the ‘free-range’ terms (and surely any thinking person should also question any term ‘organic’) these market bastardizers promote.

This chicken issue is only one product example of the many that are under this cultural hegemony.  That’s why we believe authenticity is the key in all this market-speak. Authentic food sources and products that are organic, authentically organically farmed, and authentic all-natural. The facts are this usually cannot come from mass producers in any authentic way, but from cottage farmers and smaller producers. These are the ones who deserve our loyalty and dollars, not those stealing from us by controlling markets and taking away real choice and real food!

Ref: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/farmers-attack-coles-marketing-scheme-backed-by-the-rspca-to-deliver-healthier-chickens-to-consumers/story-fnihsrf2-1226800132011




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