Monday, 8 March 2021

The elites are revolting

From The Times... 

Anti-obesity activists using the lever of forcing unwanted shareholder resolutions on blue-chip companies have claimed victory after Tesco agreed to set itself public targets to sell healthier food.

Britain’s biggest supermarket group pledged to try to lift the proportion of healthy products it sells from 58 per cent of total sales today to 65 per cent by 2025.

I can't imagine Tesco being too upset about people discovering that most of the food it sells is 'healthy' (ie. low in salt, fat and sugar). 

Sources close to Tesco played down the impact of ShareAction, arguing that it had been moving in this direction anyway.

I daresay that is true, but who are these brave activists holding corporations to account? 

ShareAction assembles and orchestrates private shareholders to buy one share in the companies it targets. Under English company law it only requires 100 shareholders, no matter how small their holdings, to force a company to put a resolution to all shareholders.

ShareAction is otherwise known as the Fairshare Educational Foundation. According to a puff piece by Harry Wallop, also in The Times, they are "the corporate equivalent of Swampy, Blue and their fellow HS2 tunnellers". I'm not sure about that. They have an annual turnover of more than two million pounds and their list of donors is an A to Z of the third sector establishment: Friends of the Earth, Joseph Rowntree, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Amnesty, WWF, Comic Relief, etc. 

Its biggest source of income is - you guessed it - the British government in the form of a £506,700 grant from the Department for International Development. The charity's accounts don't say what the grant was for or how the money was spent.

ShareAction's Chief Executive is an Oxford graduate with a biography that reads like a parody of a lefty establishment figure.
Catherine joined ShareAction as Chief Executive in 2008. ShareAction coordinates civil society activism to promote responsible investment across Europe. She is a board member of the Scott Trust, owner of The Guardian, serving on the Scott Trust’s investment committee. She also serves on HM Treasury’s Asset Management Taskforce. She was a Member Nominated Trustee of The Pensions Trust for five years until Spring 2013. Catherine was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014.
They're activists for sure, but it's not what you'd call a grassroots movement. It looks more like a bunch of well connected, well-funded elitists telling the plebs what to eat. Many such cases!

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