Sir; Cutting down on meat and milk has been little-disputed advice in the past few years and has stimulated redoubled campaigning. Goods rated meat-free, dairy-free, and cruelty-free combine interests in tackling obesity, waste, and environmental harm.
We have anticipated by several years Macca's call for meat-free Mondays (The Grocer, 21 June, p5) and we have been pursuing initiatives to foster greater enterprise and innovative in the appropriate markets.
We, as a registered research trust, offer advice to manufacturers, farmers, retailers, and consumers, as well as corporate purchasers trying to meet demands for apt developments in choices and alternatives.
We are occupied at present with a petition to the FSA to take a lead in the provisions the FSA supplies in its staff canteens and at events. The present minister of state for agriculture, Hilary Benn, sets a good example, being a vegetarian.
Among the ploys we are pursuing with the FSA is a portfolio of recipes and eating plans, with nutritional information for consumers who wish to make thrifty choices and exercise self-discipline in the context of growing food, not feed.
Spar staff thanked by Esther Rantzen
Esther Rantzen NSPCC Sir; I am writing to express my sincerest thanks to the staff at Spar UK, who have played a crucial part in helping the NSPCC to raise a massive £1m for children across the country. This is a landmark figure and a true reflection of the commitment and generosity they have shown through their tireless fundraising efforts in store. By engaging local hearts and minds - not to mention pockets! - Spar employees have not only helped the NSPCC to keep crucial services running but also helped to spread the word about our mission to end child cruelty. Unfortunately, we are a long way from making sure that every child can live a life that is safe from cruelty. But Spar employees and customers should feel proud of the steps they have taken towards this goal. A big million thanks to you all. Pressed into service before it was ready? Andrew Testa Performance test specialist
Sir; I read with interest Alex Beckett's article on Sainsbury's website meltdown (The Grocer, 21 June, p6).
The 'computer fault' alluded to is more than likely a serious performance issue within the application, which almost certainly would have been spotted if the site had undergone comprehensive performance testing prior to going live.
Unfortunately, from experience even with comprehensive testing on too many occasions, commercial pressures are used as an excuse to overlook potential risks, which means many customer-facing websites are pressed into service before they are ready. The incident at Sainsbury's provides an extreme example of the damage that can be caused to revenue and reputation.
Be well prepared to see off violence Neil Matthews Vice president, Checkpoint Systems
Sir; The level of violence on our streets seems to be escalating at a horrifying rate. Every day there is a story in the media about another shooting or stabbing somewhere in the UK. And this year, there have been attacks in one place where people should feel safe: shops. Most recently there was a fatal incident in a London supermarket. In March, a shop manager was stabbed in the neck and only last month a teenager was stabbed in a bakery.
But what can be done? Although security guards are often responsible for store security, all staff need guidance and support to tackle the problem. It is also vital to ensure that security systems are switched on and working effectively.
Logging details of any incidents and thereby sharing information with everyone in an organisation is vital to protecting employees and customers.
By taking the threat of violence seriously and applying an integrated approach to people, processes and technology, employers can go a long way towards tackling violent incidents on their premises.