Poor Variety Of Food Supply To Islands Criticised

Co-Op's St Mary's store

A St Mary’s Councillor has criticised the poor selection of fresh food being supplied by the island’s only supermarket.

Councillor David Pearson said he’d noticed in recent weeks that he was “having the same meals over and over again” because the “one supplier of food,” the island’s Co-operative supermarket, is providing poor variety.

He added, “we are going to be in deep trouble diet-wise, especially as far as our children are concerned.”

David told us he’s becoming increasingly concerned at the lack of fresh produce, including fish, meat, vegetables and salads that are being stocked in the Co-op, saying there seemed to be more processed, ready meals on the shelves.

He says he is particularly worried that, following the closure of the islands only butchers and bakers, the Co-op now has a monopoly position.

He says the community needs to tell the Co-op what it wants, and that’s, “not just about cheap food, but healthy food as well.”

David says the Council can’t interfere with commercial operations but, “food supply is as important as the Post Office. If we don’t get this right, people will leave”

He added, “we have to look after our community, that’s what we’re elected to do.”

He wants the Council to encourage new food enterprises in the community, possibly through local development organisations such as the LEP.

David’s comments came during a discussion on Council support for the proposed abattoir plans. He says he’s in favour of the scheme as it will create diversity in the islands’ food supply.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative said, “Our store in St Mary’s provides islanders with a wide range of groceries and, like most retailers, our offering is reviewed regularly in line with demand. Islanders wishing to suggest that certain products are introduced to the store should contact our Customer Services team on 0800 0686 727.”

We tried to contact the Co-op’s local representative for Scilly but were told by the South West regional office that they couldn’t give out phone numbers or email addresses. We’re still awaiting a response.