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Waitrose cookery courses using only the freshest ingredients

We all know the supermarkets renowned for their value ready-meals, such as Tesco or Asda or if you’re feeling flusher, for a little something extra special, Sainsburys or even Marks and Sparks, all of whom have pre-prepared meals to suit every mood. You can literally pick anything up, get home (pay for it first, AWT!) and bung it In the oven or microwave with very little effort or thought and, usually, in less than an hour, your meal is ready for you; however, there are other supermarkets gaining reputations for the food that actually goes into these prepared meals fresh, rather than the microwaveable end product.

The big-name supermarkets are all so well known that if you know your budget and your monthly menu you don’t even have to think twice about whizzing around their store or online to pick up your favourites and bung them in the freezer ready to be pinged. If, on the other hand, your are wanting to pick the ingredients yourself to attempt to learn to cook a meal you picked up from a recipe online or from watching a cookery show on television, then chefs in the know go to Waitrose. It is, if you believe their hype, the go-to supermarket for ingredients to cook from scratch; which is just as well as above their Finchley Road store in London, they run a cookery school in what can only be described as a vision of stainless sterility and a kitchen to absolutely die for, if that’s the sort of thing that floats your boat.

It would be little fun attending a cookery course if all of the ingredients had already been put together for you and all you had to do was decide which Smart Price or Value box you wanted to pick out of the freezer. Indeed, the four hour cookery classes that Waitrose host above the London store, hosted by chef James Campbell, covers three main courses, a veritable pleasant diversion from your usual two-and-a-half hour session learning to cook one of each starter, main and pud, as is the wont of many cookery courses out there at the minute, especially in the capital where time is money and rent and the busy professional wants to be able to knock up three courses in time to entertain the boss or clients straight from the orifice.

The cookery class itself takes on the classic format – demonstration first, then participation, then indulge in the resultant meal with an accompanying beverage, all set in a fun atmosphere with a bit of Wham or Duran Duran in the background to help proceedings along swiftly.

Waitrose do offer a variety of cookery courses, not solely this particular one, which was targeted at chefs of all capability; however, any chef above the basic-intermediate level may have this degree of skill under their belts already. Of course, the best, freshest ingredients are all supplied to make this class a little different from others out there, underlining the fact that Waitrose not only know how to source good quality food, but put it together to make a bally decent meal or three out of it, too.

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MPs Believe That Supermarket Watchdog Should Be Able Impose Fines

A cross-party committee of MPs has suggested that currents plans to tackle supermarkets who treat their suppliers unfairly are not strict enough.

Government ministers plan to create an adjudicator to help settle disputes, however the cross-party committee believes it should also have the ability to impose fines.

The committee believes that more protection should be offered to those suppliers that may be reluctant to make a complaint against one of the major supermarkets.

The grocery industry has its own code of practice which was established to stop supermarkets from imposing unfair contractual terms on their suppliers by virtue of their size and power.

Smaller suppliers have complained for many years that their profits have been eroded by the purchasing power of supermarkets.

It is the responsibility of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to investigate claims that the code of practice has been breached.

Under the draft legislation, the only sanction available to the GCA is to force supermarkets to publish the findings of any investigation. Ministers have said that they will only consider giving the GCA the ability to impose fines if this proves to be an inadequate deterrent.

Supermarkets will fund the cost of the new body after the cross-party committee dismissed claims that the ‘onerous’ cost would need to be met by consumers.

Peter Kendall, who is the president of the National Farmers Union, supports this position. He argues that the adjudicator’s office will cost around £1 million which is significantly lower the £2 billion profit which was made last year by Tesco.

Kendall hopes that the government will give more powers to the regulator. He believes that if we fail to offer adequate protection to suppliers, over time this will impact on research and investment and lead to the failure of many businesses.