There have been two huge pieces of news in the last week that are worth people knowing about.
The first is news that price caps on payday loans are now in force: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/02/payday-loans-caps-fca
It’s amazing that the regulators took no steps to provide protection to the most vulnerable and moved so slowly but at least now, in the midst of significant public pressure the first protections are in place. Exorbitant interest rates on loans that target those least able to afford exorbitant rates have been keeping people in poverty or dragging them into it unnecessarily. Things are getting better.
The second piece of news is that Asda is now going to stock ugly vegetable and sell them at a reduced price rather than throw them out/reject them (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11320594/Jamie-Oliver-show-prompts-Asda-to-sell-cheap-wonky-veg.html).
Things have been evolving toward this for a while with supermarkets trying to pre-empt potential government interference and/or consumer fury by setting their own targets for waste reduction and transparency around it. This from Jan 2014 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/supermarket-waste-seven-chains-including-3092194. But now Jamie Oliver has announced some level of victory as Asda have agreed to trial stocking foods that it would have otherwise thrown out because of aesthetics. This is a step on a journey that will no doubt have a major impact on waste levels.
So is business transforming society or is society transforming business? Both these changes came about through a mixture of consumer pressure, general public expectations changing and government and industries responding by realising that they need to change too. Regulators forced one of these changes while Asda can claim leadership in the other but in reality, it has been consumer expectation and public pressure that has led to both.
What are the next 10 changes we should want to see and how are consumers going to get organised to set them in motion in 2015?