NFUS Campaign to Prevent Supermarket 'Co-Mingling' Hots Up

SCOTLAND - NFU Scotland’s campaign to prevent the large supermarkets from confusing consumers by mixing meat from different origins on shelves marked with the Saltire, is gaining momentum.
calendar icon 16 March 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

NFUS has been asking farmers, their families and the wider public to identify supermarkets that may be confusing shoppers by mixing meat from different countries of origin in the same shelf space. NFU Scotland is concerned that the efforts of Scottish farmers to produce the highest quality produce are being undermined because consumers are struggling to distinguish it from foreign imports because of the so-called ‘co-mingling’ problem.

NFUS has now collected evidence of more than ten incidents in Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrison stores around the country. Examples include a Tesco store where Argentine beef, New Zealand lamb and Dutch pork were all being sold underneath a Saltire flag and, a Sainsbury store with Irish beef being sold on a shelf also emblazoned with the Scottish flag.

NFUS President Jim McLaren, said:

“Modern consumers are very keen on buying Scottish produce because they quite rightly see it as being of superior quality as well as being keen to mitigate the negative effects of ‘food miles’.

“We are seeing positive steps being made by the major retailers when it comes to sourcing more and more local produce which is very encouraging. However, we are also seeing incidents in which quality Scottish produce is being mixed with foreign imports, under what is clearly Scottish branding.

“This can quite easily confuse consumers – the signage leads them to believe they are in a section of the store which is selling Scottish produce and yet they could pick up foreign produce in error because of the lack of clear shelf labelling. The individual packaging on these different products is often extremely similar and so it becomes an easy mistake to make.

Source: NFU Scotland.

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