Stedman, Ronald (11 of 32). Food: From Source to Salespoint

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  • Subjects

    Meat industry

  • Recording date

    1999-09-08, 1999-09-30, 1999-10-28, 1999-11-17, 2000-04-20

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home and Butchers' Hall, London

  • Interviewees

    Stedman, Ronald, 1917-2009 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 11: Tape 6 Side A: Opening of JC’s first ‘cheap-jack store’. Building of his empire. Foundations for Tesco between the wars. JC’s daughter, Lady Porter, and her son. RS tried to get directors of Tesco to join Livery Company, but didn’t succeed, nor with Sainsbury. Eligibility for membership of Livery Company. Entrance fee is £800. Lack of pride in those in butchery sections of supermarkets compared to those who worked in butcher’s shops. Transformation of Tesco image. Competition with Sainsbury and its values. RS looked up to Sainsbury staff when he worked at David Greig; Tesco was at the bottom. Tesco’s power over suppliers. RS believes Sainsbury remains a better group. Decline of Sainsbury due to family no longer being in charge. Memories of father and grandfather of current Lord Sainsbury. McLaurin? of Tesco. Example of Fitch Lovell trying to run a bakery through an accountant. Mergers annd less competition. Potential monopoly caused by trend to buy via the Internet. Reason why the independent trader is doomed. Reduction of the power of the House of Lords is a good thing. Grandfather of the present David Sainsbury was running the business in the 1930s when RS went into the meat industry. Sainsbury’s started approx 1860. David Greig started business approx 1875; went to prison because was mixing up margarine and butter. David Sainsbury’s role in Labour government re genetic modification. Sainsbury as business colleagues who commanded respect and trust. RS known as a ‘keen buyer’ on Smithfield but had sense to realise had to leave sufficient profit with wholesaler. Smithfield system was bartering. Sainsbury’s beginning to change before family ceased to be in charge. Difficult to run Sainsbury empire and go into politics. RS refused to join Rotary when was running 130 butchers’ shops, but joined on retirement. Feelings re genetically modified food. David Sainsbury at Butchers’ Hall.

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