Hugh’s war on Morrisons

Sir, My sympathies are not frequently aroused when jousting corporations are caught up in a PR debacle. They were, however, when Morrisons appeared to be unfairly singled out for pillory by the BBC programme Hugh’s War on Waste.

The reason, it seemed, was not agreeing to participate. Didn’t Morrisons announce a food sharing initiative with FoodCycle to tackle UK poverty and food waste back in early August? It’s fine for the presenter to make bien pensant noises about food wastage but it is not uniquely Morrisons’ problem. My concern is that the BBC is not the government, the judiciary, or the police. Yet here it appears to act as judge, jury and executioner, able to discredit and even destroy reputations overnight. An example of Orwellian coercion with an avuncular face.

John Moore, partner, Hyperbole

Competition fuelling CSR

Sir, Your article ‘Morrisons to donate unsold food to community organisations’ (2 November) highlights the latest in a long line of CSR pledges from grocery retailers. Aldi announced a pay increase to £8.40 per hour and Tesco promised to treat its suppliers more fairly. There are many more examples, of course. All these steps are unlikely to be driven by a greater sense of corporate responsibility. Instead, these businesses are beginning to understand that when there is a race to the bottom on price, other factors will influence where consumers shop. Being cheap is just not enough. Consumers need a bargain, good quality and to feel good about where they spend. In an attempt to sell more products, grocery retailers are becoming more socially responsible.

Mark Jones, solicitor, Gordons

Why they use sweeteners

Sir: This is not very scientific at all (‘Study links two sweetened soft drinks a day with heart failure,’ 3 November). To point the finger at sweeteners you have to get people at the peak of health and split them randomly into one group of sweetener consumers and one group of non-sweetener consumers and then follow their health.

As it is, they have just noted that people who consume sweeteners have a higher risk of heart failure, which is obvious because most people who opt for sugar substitutes have a weight problem and higher risk of heart failure.

‘Rarther I’ via