Saw in the paper the other day that Ica will stop selling frozen Baltic cod (the fresh one is still ok apparently).

http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=147&a=624792

You should see our office, everyone is going around patting each other on the back going: ”great victory for the planet! The consumer pressure has taken its toll! The big bad company has bowed to the demand from the buyers to stop selling fish that comes from pirate fishermen that ruin our seas”.

Well everyone except me, I’m just crouching over my keyboard writing this and glowering cynically. Consumer power? Yeah right… The consumers don’t give a flying fish for the environment. Well I suppose a tiny, almost invisible proportion does. But who cares about them.

Anyway ICA knows this very well, that’s not why they stopped selling the filets. I mean it was not exactly a sudden inspired revelation that the Baltic is a giant sewer, that the fish in it is almost gone, and that the few that are still there are being pulled up by floating machines that scrape off the bottom of the sea, filter out the few pitiful bits of fish and spit out the rest over the side.

Certainly the tiny proportion of consumers who care about environment have known this for years. They are all veggies anyway and haven’t bought any fish since 1985, no matter if its from the Baltic, Caribbean or Black Sea.

And the rest of the consumers – well either they know about it (cause they happened to see a photo of a Greenpeace action on a Baltic trawler while flipping pages of Metro from the top story of Anna.Niclole Spear’s breast operations and shaved head to the sports section), but don’t care. Or they don’t know and don’t care.

So why are ICA employees in their little red aprons going around the freezers pulling out boxes of FELIX FRUSEN TORSKFILET and chucking them in a garbage bag?

Well 2 reasons are possible – you decide which you think is true:

1. The management suddenly had a cathartic revelation and decided that the protection of our fragile planet is more important than making money

OR

2. They don’t want Greenpeace to yet again hang a banner on their store. Why? Not because the consumers care about the cod. But because it’ll hurt their precious little brand.

And next time you go shopping you might pick their competitor. Because somewhere in the back of your mind you got a bit of a bad association with ICA brand. A bit of a bad taste in your mouth.

Left over from the quick glance at a picture of a Greenpeace banner on an ICA store that you caught while leafing Metro from the story about Anna Nicole’s boobs to Djurgården’s score. You probably didn’t even notice that the banner was about Baltic cod. Just as you don’t notice where the cod you buy comes from.

- Dima