Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 20 March 2014


Corporate Social Responsibility. Bit boring? It basically means big companies doing good things in their local communities, not just making profits. I saw a great example of it on Monday when I broke my journey to Westminster with a visit to the Tesco store at Lee Mill.

I witnessed a group of children from Stowford Primary School in Ivybridge being educated by Tesco staff in how the food we eat on our plates at home gets there from the farm, whether in this country or abroad. In a riveting set of exercises and demonstrations the young people were taught about how dairy products were made, how the bakery worked, how food got from the farms into the store on large lorries and on large pallet/racks and how it was then distributed to the shelves and what happens to the waste. (The fruit waste goes to Dartmoor Zoo)

Then we were treated to some juicy fruit from different parts of the world which made a strong point about eating healthily. My only disappointment was that I did not personally manage to secure a jam donut.
The children obviously enjoyed it, the staff made it very interesting and it was a huge success. I hardly need mention that the pupils from Stowford were extremely well behaved and asked some great questions. They were a credit to their school and their parents. 

Talking to the superstore management it is clear they have invested a great deal of money and effort into this project. They will be having two groups of school children each week looking around and learning in this way and no doubt the project will evolve over time. 

I strongly support the current focus on academic excellence, but I also believe that the coming generation should be equipped to understand the world in which they are growing up and be therefore better prepared to flourish in it. We have all heard of kids who do not know that milk comes from cows or that cheese comes from milk etc and this is a very good way of covering off some of these basics.

Our large supermarkets get a lot of stick for their impact on the high street, and sometimes we forget that it is we the consumer who make the choice where to shop, not them. We should give credit where credit is due and I thought this excellent Tesco educational scheme warranted a wider audience.

posted by Gary @ 09:02