Shoppers Want More British Food in Supermarkets

UK - In the wake of the horsemeat scandal Welsh consumers have told NFU Cymru that they want to see more British food on supermarket shelves and in restaurants.
calendar icon 1 March 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

More than 82 per cent of shoppers are as likely or more likely to want to buy more traceable food that has been produced on British farms and a further 77 per cent agree or strongly agree that supermarkets should sell more food from British farms.

The results of the One Poll survey, commissioned by the Union, come as the farming organisation holds its conference in Birmingham  with Tesco Chief Executive Phillip Clarke addressing the morning session, Farming Delivers for the Economy.

NFU Cymru Deputy President Stephen James said he believed that shorter and more traceable supply chains would help to alleviate the problems of recent weeks.

"Farmers have been furious about what has happened," he said. "They have spent many years working to ensure the supply chain is fully traceable from farm to pack and building strong principles which are embodied in assurance schemes like Red Tractor. For me this is fundamental for consumer confidence.

"But more than that, I want to see retailers working on re-building consumer trust, improving transparency and so partnership with farmers and the rest of the supply chain is critical. However, what we see currently in some sectors is real short-termism. The margin distribution in the supply chain needs more transparency and joined-up thinking to tackle the dual challenges of volatility and environmental pressures.

"Our research also demonstrates the demand for British-farmed products, and so retailers, processors and food service companies have a responsibility to ensure there is clear country of origin labelling on the products that consumers purchase. Fifty-seven per cent told us they find the information on food origin either confusing or very confusing. This has to change.

"More needs to be done to make labelling clearer and NFU Cymru lobbies hard on this issue. For consumers I say be more demanding - ask your retailers where the food they are selling comes from and look closely before purchasing food. We hope that our recent advertising campaign, the concurrent HCC campaign which is encouraging all shoppers to ‘look for the logos’ when buying Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef which have been awarded the European Unions coveted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) mark and also the Red Tractor logo on fresh meat, which shows the products have been produced to world-class standards and traceable from farm to pack, which will help consumers to make an informed choice."

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