Tesco shares crashed on link-up with RSPB – every little helps

Last week the RSPB and Tesco  re-announced their link up on rainforests – you’ll find a description of the link-up in the most recent Birds magazine which arrived in mid-January (pages 22-23).

That link-up has already had an amazing impact on Tesco: looking at its 3-month share value you will find it peaked at 411p on 3  January (having been above 380p for the previous 5 weeks and maintained that sort of value until Birds was mailed out when it crashed to 312p on 16 January and hasn’t got above 335p since.

Apparently Tesco has recently been named the ‘top global retailer’ for its efforts to tackle climate change – it seems that 5 of its 5000 stores are zero-carbon.  But there have been other views about the UK’s largest supermarket chain (see here, here, here, here).

Quite how a link up with the RSPB caused Tesco to issue a profit-warning and lose £4,300,000,000 off its share price is beyond me but it’s a neat trick.  Whatever the RSPB is doing it is clearly working to rein in this megaretailer – and every little helps.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, might have said, ‘This is just another example of environmentalists,  and things like habitats, acting as a brake on the UK economy.  See – it’s not my cuts that are crippling the UK economy!  It’s the greens – look what the RSPB has done to Tesco already.  I am announcing  a review of any link-ups between mega-retailers and little charities to get to the bottom of this insidious impact.‘.

A spokesman for a wildlife conservation charity said ‘That makes as much sense as his review of the habitats regulations‘.

This blog may take a more serious look at this subject some time in the future.

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22 Replies to “Tesco shares crashed on link-up with RSPB – every little helps”

  1. I personally find this campaign by the RSPB quite disturbing and feel they're just being used by this behemoth for some middle-class feel good marketing value.

    We should be boycotting these places.

  2. I couldn't have put it better myself Brian. Tesco will take what they need from this arrangement and spit the rspb out when they're done.

    1. Lee, you are possibly right - but I wonder whether conservation can afford to be too choosy?

      On the one hand I am in no way Tesco's number one fan - and their many ills need exposing, not to mention the excessive power of supermarkets in general. On the other I've a sneaking respect for any scheme, anywhere, that takes any amount of money away from a big corporation's coffers and turns it towards conservation. Greenwash is hard to stomach but would cutting Tesco et al out completely risk losing what amount of effort and goodwill there is, to nature's ultimate detriment? Not sure!

  3. Don't suppose the RSPB (or anyone else) got any of that 'missing' 4.3 billion? Well it didn't really exist anyway...
    I agree with Chris's comment above and was intrigued to learn that 1 in 1000 Tesco stores are 'zero-carbon' - come on Tescos show us what your made of and get cracking on the other 4995!

  4. I think the biggest conservation gains are to be had in Tesco using their power to influence the supply chain. For example, the demand for palm oil is one of the main drivers of tropical deforestation. If Tesco could stop using palm oil, or even just used sustainably produced palm oil, in their branded products and influenced their suppliers to do likewise then the conservation gain could be significant.

    Boycott Tesco if you want - that's easy. Boycotting products that use unsustainably produced palm oil is what really matters and isn't easy at all.

  5. Well there go the old hate Tesco brigade.They are damned if they don't and damned if they do while all the Tesco haters benefit from their cheap food .,free parking and that company works on probably smaller profit margins than almost any other company.
    This is a really good initiative and we should give them credit for it.
    For all the flak that they take they give wonderful service and almost without exception all employees of Tesco are really helpful.Why do people always seem to hate big businesses.
    Mark ----think after a light hearted blog to get controversy going it would be nice to give credit where credit due.

  6. Would you believe Tescos check farmers accounts and if Mr Farmer drives a nice car he is penalised !!

  7. All farmers should ride bikes anyway to make up for all the traffic hold ups they cause well done for checking farmers accounts Tesco that keeps my grocery bill down.
    It is really easy to print rubbish.

  8. DavidH no not anti-farmer comment,as if Tesco would check on farmers cars,what some people suggest beggars belief.
    My OH in Tescos one day was asked to go one day and in a small group of about 6 have a discussion with the manager,she said oh Den is a fan he will come as well,despite protesting that they wanted critics not back slappers could not get out of it.In fact it was a thoroughly informative meeting and made me admire the company tremendously.
    Of course they buy from farmers at the lowest price they can and farmers can always sell other places if not satisfied with price Tesco offered.
    When farming just like other farmers and other businesses always bought at the lowest possible price I could for anything we needed,why should almost everyone expect Tesco to be different.
    Sorry if I confused you but thought it a bit tongue in cheek Mark type remark.Shoppers who have not used Tesco for past 5 weeks or so have missed out on £5 a week vouchers and 10p a litre off petrol.Surprised Mark has not connected that with Tesco and RSPB starting the Rain Forest initiative.

  9. "Of course they buy from farmers at the lowest price they can and farmers can always sell other places if not satisfied with price Tesco offered."

    If only it were that simple. The sheds have been shafting farmers and growers for decades by growing markets to saturation and oversupply, then slashing the contract prices. An association between Tesco and RSPB to protect rainforest is like The Woodland Trust affiliating with North Korea to prevent uranium mining in Kazahkstan.
    A useful function of supermarkets is the provision of public conveniences. On our travels I have been occasioned to stop at Tescos in far-flung places, but Mrs Cobb insists on the car being parked where she cannot see the big T signage.

  10. Disagree entirely Filbert Cobb,if farmers over supply then law of supply and demand means they will get lower price simple economics,Tesco have absolutely no control over the scale of production and farmers can always contract somewhere else.that is how business work.If you are/were a farmer you would do exactly the same as Tesco on a much smaller scale of course.I am a retired farmer and all the farmers I have ever known have done exactly that.Tesco cannot fine anyone only courts can do that and they have no way of making a farmer sign a contract by holding a gun to their head.Farmers obviously sign because they are in favour of that contract.
    Really cannot understand how people think Tesco can force everything Tesco wants.

  11. Over-supply has been engineered by over-contracting ever since Adam had all his ribs.
    No need to take my word for it - the Competition Commission found: "evidence that food retailers in the UK pass on “excessive risks and costs” to suppliers – both in the UK and overseas.
    This might involve: making last-minute changes to orders that leave suppliers with surplus stock they can’t sell; finalising order volumes at the last minute meaning workers must put in un-planned, unpaid overtime to meet increased orders and suppliers are unable to plan effectively; refusing to pay the full cost agreed; insisting that suppliers take the hit when consumer demand changes; charging suppliers a disproportionately high amount per customer complaint, and not being clear with supplier who is responsible for damage to the item.
    These pressures get passed on to workers in the form of low wages, poor conditions and long hours.
    The Commission found evidence of similar practices in a previous investigation in 2000 and many of those identified 8 years ago are still ongoing, despite the establishment of a voluntary code of conduct. For example, a review of email exchanges between suppliers and Asda and Tesco over just a five-week period in 2007, the Commission concluded that at least 20 of the 52 practices identified in the 2000 investigation continue to be practised.
    The primary focus of the Commission’s investigation was whether supermarkets offer customers a fair deal. It’s notable that they felt compelled to point out that such bad practices are ultimately bad for consumers because they stifle competition and innovation."

    What happened to the Retail Ombudsman? If he exists, I hope he proves to have suitably sharp teeth.

  12. Filbert Cobb,then according to you everyone getting shafted by supermarkets from suppliers,supermarket workers and shoppers.
    The reality is suppliers falling over themselves to supply supermarkets,workers in lots of cases get share of profits or share bonus offer schemes,shoppers fill supermarket car parks.
    Can only conclude either you are wrong and got quite a hate of them providing cheap food that even if you shop somewhere else you gain from the competition they bring to the weekly shop,or all those millions of people supplying,working and buying from supermarkets are wrong.
    Now I am no intellect but even I know which is most likely the truth.

  13. Which part of "don't take my word for it" don't you understand?
    Here's a link to the CC website: http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/our-work/directory-of-all-inquiries/groceries-market-investigation-and-remittal/final-report-and-appendices-glossary-inquiry
    If you still don't get it, don't tell me, tell them.

    If you still don't get it, don

  14. Oh dear everybody in the country compares prices.
    You obviously think everyone who uses supermarkets one way or another are stupid.
    None of us really care as long as if we are sulpplyers we get a good deal,if we are workers we get a good deal and if we are shoppers we get a good deal.
    We don't give a toss what all these commission people say who are just making the most of being jobsworths.
    We would not all pile into supermarkets if we were not happy.That is it in a nut shell.

  15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121447/Tesco-ordered-shut-flagship-London-store-infested-mice.html

  16. Hmm. I gather tongue must have firmly been in cheek when this was written, but sniping from the sidelines is hardly going help what the RSPB is trying to achieve, or is that the point...

    Presumably the RSPB have entered into this partnership in a bid to influence Tesco's operations in a big way, to benefit the environment, as well as the massive people engagement opportunity? Yes Tesco's has a terrible reputation in terms of its environmental record, but isn't that exactly why there is a need to engage with them in a positive way?

    Corporate partnerships take time to mature and the initial stages are about building trust. Surely it's unrealistic to expect outcomes at such an early stage of the partnership? And surely as a trained scientist you know better than to mix correlation with cause? If the partnership is damned to failure before it begins then we'll never see any positive outcomes for wildlife, but hey at least the result will be Mark 1 RSPB 0.


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