Russian wildfires burn British veterans’ cash

What has Hovis got to do with Napoleon and Hitler?

We all know, after several gruelling, abortive episodes, that it’s a terrible idea to send invading troops eastwards into Russia.  ‘Don’t get involved in a land war in Asia’, you may have heard it said, and we’re lucky indeed that neither Hitler nor Napoleon took heed of this advice, otherwise we’d be living in a Nazi or Bonapartist empire.

And yet the climactic vicissitudes of this very same region have today apparently got the potential to pillory British soldiers’ fortunes.  Remember all those wildfires in Russia over the summer?  The images of suffocating smog which settled over Moscow during that lengthy heatwave?  Well, British Baker, the “baking industry’s food bible,” reports that the summer fires’ disruption of grain supply in Russia and eastern Europe has driven the price of grain up by as much as 50%.

What has this to do with British soldiers, you might reasonably enquire?  Tesco, it turns out, would be damned before agreeing to pass on these inflated costs to its customers and have their cheap basket whatever statistic affected.  As a result of this, Tesco has discontinued the baker Hovis’s Seed Sensations bread range, preferring Hovis to bear the full cost of the grain price change themselves or go to another supermarket.  Naturally, the latter seemed inevitable.

Hovis’s Seed Sensations range’s inclusion of poppy seeds has been seen as an appropriate reason to donate 4p from the sale of every loaf to the Royal British Legion.  Today’s Guardian reports that last year this fund amounted to £130,000 of income for the charity, which is now in jeopardy.

So it turns out that there’s no escaping the Russian landscape, even for today’s British soldiers.  It also transpires, unfortunately, that there’s no escaping Tesco.

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