Renewable Energy Future for the Developing World

The greatest concern of the major multiples, especially Tesco in regards to political activity, relates to the rulings of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission which can prevent supermarkets from establishing themselves in certain locations because of anti-competition legislation. Similarly, legislation relating to anti-competition activities, such as price fixing and cartel-like activity, can prompt investigation from the Government body known as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT 2011). However, such investigations on a national scale are relatively rare and the large supermarkets are seldom investigated for such activity. There is also a need to consider legislation and regulation, the UK food and retail sector is covered by numerous laws, codes of practice and regulations. One such regulator, Food Standards Agency, has a statutory right to protect the public the consumer in relation to food and drink such as correct labelling, food sell by dates, hygiene etc. There is also European legislation, General food law and Codex (Food Standards Agency 2012). …
K economy has been in and out of recession since 2008, interest rates have been reduced to historic lows to try and stimulate growth and minimize the rise in unemployment, which has risen sharply since 2009 (BBC 2012a). Although the UK food and retail market itself has remained relatively stable because people need food, there have been marked shifts in consumer spending habits as consumers cut back and “trade down” from premium brands to supermarkets’ own branded labels, or even switch to cheaper rivals (Hall 2011). This is set against the context of rising raw material prices thanks to bad weather, the costs of which have been pushed onto the consumer. For example, according to the RPI (Poulter 2011), the average cost of a basket of “staple goods” has risen an average of 28% in real terms. It is also important to note this is closely linked to social issues such as changing consumer habits and a decline in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). In addition to these trends in the retail sector, considering performance of the sector over the past 40 years (See Figure 1), it is expected that there will be the lowest ever growth recorded for 2012 in UK’s retail sector history. The growth rate for 2012 is expected to remain 1.2 %, which is although higher than that of 2011’s growth rate (0.9 %) (SAS 2011). Figure 1: UK Retail Sector’s Growth Rates for Past 40 years (SAS 2011) Social For the UK food retail industry, it is fair to suggest that the recession and subsequent level of decreasing economic growth has caused consumers to become far more price conscious. They are demanding greater value for money and supermarkets are responding with aggressive price cuts and price wars in order to attract and retain customers (Wood 2011). As yet it is too early to determine

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