CAUTION: the following rant may contain random inaccuracies and wild speculation and is not to be taken as the literal truth (though if anyone would care to weigh in on how we are able to obtain literal truth from anecdotal evidence I would be glad to hear it). This is in fact an interpretation and response to a conversation which contains elements of an interpretive nature (which can translate as "people make sh*t up when they are telling a story as it adds dramatic narrative").
I was approached by a smoothie-groupie last night, I say approached but I know them quite well so actually I was latched on to and held, for my interpretation and opinion on a particular argument that had come under their gaze at it concerned a said company and their recent announcements and the furore of reaction this has caused.
So let me give you a brief overview of the company and the argument before I carry on with what the groupie was groping for :0
The smoothie company in question does a nice line in real fruit soft drinks. they have no artificial flavours or colours, great taste and are fairly ethically minded for a business. They contribute to the community and the environment with good hiring practices and a strong lean towards improving the recyclability of their processes and products. They have won numerous awards including awards for the good treatment of their staff. Many people like their products and are enthusiastic about the ethos and attitude of the company.
So the argument:
the smoothie company has recently announced a deal with a large fast food chain. this chain has been seeking to improve its image and the range of products it offers to keep its market position and to prevent further negative portrayal.
The response has been two-fold:
Firstly the company and those who seek to continue to support are claiming that this bold move is a positive influence on the well-being of the fast food seeking populace as it will add balance into their diet and more choice of healthy meals at their favourite eatery.
Secondly, some people see this as a sell-out by the company and that they are degrading themselves by climbing into bed with a hungry giant who only seeks to destroy the world with their fat-laced obesity-causing meat products.
Some of these people have gone even further by declaring they will never touch the smoothie companies product again, and in the case of one person who was so incensed they instantly poured their smoothie away. Lucky they had one to hand when they heard and what a waste of a smoothie, I cannot imagine how further wastage is a proof of moral superiority.
Which is principally what these two arguments are, who has the moral superiority. I was asked by the said smoothie-groupie for my response.
I opted for the third way, more loosely known as "my own answer".
My answer was that the company in question is not a charity. When whomever set the company into existence they did so with the intention of making a profit.
(Now there is a call for why this can be a bad thing even if we ignore the Marxist/Communist argument there is a view about profits being a bad reason for production and that the pursuit of greater profits leads to a degradation of product and consumer (but I am not going to discuss that here).)
The company charges a good price for their product, in fact they charge between 130 pence (£1.30) and 200 pence (£2) for what amounts to flavored water through the product range to a handful of pressed fruit in an approximately 300ml bottle. This charge can be increased by some purveyors but it still accounts to between £5-7 pounds per litre of fruit drink.
This is not entirely good value for a small bottle of water, in fact it is quite an expensive way to obtain fruit, one apple, one banana and a pint of water has the same nutritional value, with the advantage of being more filling and costs about a quarter of the price.
So, contrary to the perceived notion by smoothie-groupies and the inconsequential idiots seeking a set of morals and viewpoints as they don't have the backbone to construct their own; the company in question is in fact perfectly justified in its approach. It is following the same course it did when it was set up, that is to provide a product at a cost that leaves it able to maintain its position and increase its output in proportion to its ambitions. In other words it is doing what every company like it wants to do, it is being successful. Not only that it is keeping exactly the same moral stance.
Yes, they may be aligning with a perceived monster in order to alter the ethos from within.
yes they may be continuing their marketing spin about ethical approaches. And, yes, I can give you a hundred reasons why both of those are b*ll*cks, and I could probably give you a hundred why they are valued.
But it doesn't matter as the company is doing no different to what it has always done. So this recent reaction by the two camps is completely pointless. The companies in question have in fact changed very little in terms of their structural approach to business, they have simple re-organised in order to survive in a fluctuating marketplace built on shifting perceptions.
Hence the spinning. Hence the deals. Hence the reaction and counter-argument.
AFTER CAUTION: So, if anyone feels this is invalidated by that fact that it was a story, or that there was speculation and third-hand telling of someone's possible actions or words, then you are missing the point, this rant was about the perception of argument and the need to think around the discussion and present your own thoughts.
PLEA: Please leave a comment after reading this, go on, be the first to do so, I haven't had any yet and that makes me sad 🙁
AFTER PLEA: Okay that was wheedling and manipulative. have you not left a comment yet?