On July 28, 1974, Safeway held a press conference to announce a new pricing policy for the chain. The management explained that during the time of double digit inflation Safeway would not mark up the price of goods already on the shelves.
In December, 1976, Safeway abandoned that policy, without benefit of press conference or any public notice.
Only the sharp eyes of several shoppers have brought this policy change to public attention. One such shopper wrote a reporter to ask what had happened: "While shopping at Safeway. . . I saw two clerks removing canned foods from the shelf, wiping of the prices and stamping the cans with higher prices.
"I asked the store manager whether Safeway policy had changed. He explained that the federal government was now requring food chains to reprice old stock."
There is no government regulation that requires Safeway to change its policy. Ernie Moore, a Safeway spokesman explained why the chain had abandoned the no-repricing policy: "We changed our repricing policy back in December. We went into 2 1/2 years ago, when we were in double digit inflation. Now that the advances and declines are starting to balance out, we felt we had to become competitive."
The Ford administration's Acting Secretary of Agriculture, John Knebel, appointed 17 people to a consumer advisory panel just before he left office. But the panel members never will have a chance to convene. The new Secretary of Agriculture, Bob Bergland, is about to abolish not only the consumer adivsory committees not required by law.
And the Department's consumer adviser, Nancy Steorts, has received her walking papers, along with most other Republican administratio political appointees. Her job is being abolished, too. According to Bergland, consumer input in the department will come from people like Carol Tucker Foreman, whom he has recommended to the President for the position of Assistant Secretary for Consumer Services. Foreman is currently executive director of the largest consumer organization in the country, Consumer Federation of America.
A person who read about Jimmy Carter's fondness for buttermilk called with a tip for the President and others: The best buttermilk in the area, in his opinion, is sold at the College Park dairy salesroom run by the University of Maryland's College of Agriculture. There's only one problem for the White House - no home delivery.