Supermarkets' Beef Sourcing Revealed

UK - Supermarkets have their critics in the farming industry, mostly on the grounds that the chief executives have a first obligation to maximise shareholders' returns - to the cost of suppliers.
calendar icon 24 July 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
However, the most recent retail survey conducted by the widely respected Taylor Nelson Soffres shows that just short of all the fresh beef sold through the Morrisons chain since January has been British, while Tesco, the biggest player in the market, has managed to source close on 90 per cent from the domestic market.

But the same cannot be said of Sainsbury's and Asda. UK farmers will be dismayed to learn that these two chains import as much as 50 per cent of their beef, mostly from Ireland, with some sourced in South America.

Robert Forster, the chief executive of the National Beef Association, said: "The fact that Morrisons and Tesco are operating a British-first purchasing policy, and using imports as a top-up, at a time when British farmers are trying to adjust to a world without subsidies is encouraging.

"Asda also appears to be switching its stance on taking the lazy option on imports, and has recently announced that it is expanding its 'Buy British' policy on beef.

"Indeed, it has predicted a 12 per cent increase in British beef purchases over 2008 to supply its highest value ranges.

Source: Scotsman
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