NFU Scotland has responded with huge frustration at recent industry intelligence figures showing the void between major supermarkets when it comes to stocking Scottish and British pork on their shelves compared to their commitment to beef and lamb.
While leading retailers such as Co-op, Morrison’s, Aldi and Lidl are 100 per committed to Scottish or British pork or have a strong presence of home-produced products others, particularly Tesco and Asda, continue to fall well short of what farmers and consumers would expect.
Scottish pork production has faced disruption due to Covid-19 and exports have been made more challenging due to Brexit. Prices have fallen below the cost of production, exacerbated by cheaper supplies being sourced from Europe. NFU Scotland is crystal clear that both farmers and consumers deserve reassurances that British and Scottish pork will be readily available on every shop shelf.
NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said
It is a shocking statistic that less than half of the fresh pork on sale in Tesco and Asda is British or Scottish. Both these stores have a strong public commitment to source other meats from the UK and we are asking them to mirror that commitment with pork.
We saw similar trends earlier this year and are hugely disappointed that despite continued discussions with all major retailers we are once again reading appalling statistics about the lack of domestic pork within Tesco and Asda stores.
In stark contrast retailers such as Co-op, Morrison’s, Aldi and Lidl should be applauded for their support of the Scottish and British pork sector. Morrrison’s have even been successfully running an instore price promotion initiative to encourage sales of pork products.
The past year has seen the consumer become more interested in the provenance of their food and sourcing Scottish or British where possible. Products from this country are of the highest standard and quality. Our farmers are proud of what they do and are pleased that consumers value what they produce. All the retailers need to step up to the plate and give the same commitment to sourcing pork as they do beef and lamb.
NFU Scotland will remain in contact with all major retailers on the matter. It is evident that far greater support for Scottish and British pig farmers must be given by some. We will work with all retailers and other interested parties to see how domestic sourcing can be improved.
The justification for major retailers to back our farmers goes far deeper than the shop shelf. With climate change remaining at the top of the agenda for the foreseeable future, sourcing local sustainable products such as Scottish or British pork will play a valuable part of the solution. That is something consumers want to see, and supermarkets must deliver.