While staff stood round the duo waiting for the police to arrive and remove them, several customers made a point of coming over and thanking them for what they were doing, and asking them for leaflets. And they weren’t people involved in the action! The cow and maize politely left when the police asked them to and there was no further trouble.
Meanwhile leafleting was occurring in the bowels of the multistory car park. One enterprising protester placed himself next to the car parks ticket machine. The barriers were conveniently designed so that drivers couldn’t quite reach the emerging ticket, so he stood in the gap and passed the slip to the grateful drivers, accompanied by a leaflet if they were interested. When the manager was approach by one of the more senior protesters and asked about their use of GM animal feed to the cattle that produce their own brand products he flatly denied that Sainsburys did so. Though he refused to put this assurance in writing.
From their comments to a journalist who covered the previous two weeks actions it seems their general line is- ‘we can’t ban the use of GM feed because we are “concerned about adverse economic effects on farmers” (GM free feed costs a little more than unsegregated). Which is pretty obscene when you consider the amount creamed off in profits by all the supermarkets on milk at the moment- a litre currently retails at 60p. Dairy farmers get paid 16-17p per litre. The Co op and Marks and Spencer have proved that it’s perfectly possible to provide non GM produced milk without making farmers or consumers shoulder the financial burden. They really don’t have a leg to stand on with this one.