Avocados could be bad for your public relations

Tomorrow's Business

How much due diligence are supermarkets expected to do on the companies that supply their avocados?

An easy answer: more than they do presently.

The Sunday Times reported “rape, beatings and death” at Kakuzi, the Kenyan farm that supplies Tesco, Sainsbury and Lidl.

The case has “stirred uncomfortable echoes of colonial-era exploitation” the paper tells us.

In response, Tesco has “suspended all supply” from the farm, and is “working closely” with the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Sainsbury takes “allegations of this nature extremely seriously”, so that’s a relief.

Lidl is working on a “full independent investigation”, which only really serves to make you ask why they didn’t investigate before.

Supermarkets like to brag that they know exactly where the food they sell us comes from. Every once in a while something like this emerges which shows that to be very far from the whole story.

Flaks sometimes wonder why hacks don’t take grand statements of corporate good intent on face value, don’t just report what the annual report said about the serious commitment to justice.

This sort of thing is exactly why.

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