Thursday, March 23, 2023

UK retailers warned against switching to royal measurements

UK retailers have warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson that his plan to roll back the royal measures will push up the price of goods – as they will need to be re-labeled – as consumers face the worst of a life crisis for a generation. Struggling with costs.

The British Retail Consortium, which represents some of the country’s largest supermarkets and retail chains, said resuming measurements in pounds and ounces would be a “distraction” from the bigger problems facing the country.

BEIS, the trade division, will launch an advisory on Friday on whether retailers should be able to sell products in imperial measurements rather than metric.

The move is already being touted as a “benefit” of Britain leaving the European Union and has been embraced by some pro-Brexit politicians.

However, critics have accused ministers of policymaking in an attempt to distract the public from the “Partygate” scandal and the economic crisis caused by the rising energy price, which has left Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party behind in opinion polls.

Andrea Martínez-Inchousti, assistant director of food at BRC, said supermarkets were focused on delivering the best value for money for their customers at a time of “intense” inflationary pressure. The price of groceries has increased by about 6 per cent in the last one year.

“Introducing new laws to change the way food and drink are measured will both distract from this important task, and add cost and complexity when existing products need to be re-labeled,” he said. Martínez-Inchaustí pointed out that stores were already allowed to indicate imperial measures with metrics.

Britain formally introduced the metric system in 1965, with some exceptions such as milk and beer which are still sold in pints.

A group of fruit and vegetable merchants known as the “Matric Shaheed” came to prominence 20 years ago when they began a campaign for merchants to sell produce in royal units.

But, while the European Union originally ordered the UK to stop using imperial units with the metric system, it abandoned that demand in 2007.

Joe Harrison, chief executive officer of the National Market Traders Federation, said that while most young people had grown up with metric measurements, it didn’t make sense to shift the stalls back to imperial.

Harrison told the Daily Telegraph that the change would be a “trouble”, adding: “For what purpose? It seems it will just hang on to the past, nostalgia.”

Meanwhile, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has expressed concerns about the idea of ​​reintroducing the imperial measurement, warning that the move has the potential to “mislead” clients who have only been taught the metric.

CTSI chief executive John Herriman said the true impact of any proposed changes needed to be understood.

“We understand the desire to create a feelgood factor, especially during times of many profound economic challenges,” he said.

“However, at a time when consumers and businesses are already feeling the pinch from high prices and inflation, it is really important that any proposed measures do not hinder the value of money and prices of everyday items to the public, Or don’t add unnecessary cost and confusion to the business.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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