NSA condems negativity around UK red meat production
Following what it says are spurious claims about production costs and withdrawal of support from red meat supply chains, the National Sheep Association (NSA) is condemning the current negativity around the production and sale of UK lamb.
Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, said: “NSA was disappointed to hear the announcement by Aldi that it is dropping support for British-produced lamb and beef, following hot on the heels of the irresponsible suggestion by John Allan, Tesco Chair, that food producers are taking advantage of the poor in society by pushing up food costs. This air of negativity is not good for any part of the supply chain and reflects particularly poorly on retailers.
“Farmgate prices for lamb are currently under huge pressure, with GB prices down by 13% compared to the same week last year, at the same time as producers are dealing with extreme inflation of input costs across fuel, feed and fertiliser. Farmers at the beginning of the supply chain need support from everyone within it, to acknowledge that red meat is costing more to produce and get to market. We also need a showcase on every supermarket shelf for lamb and other products produced in the UK. To see one retailer imply that costs have been artificially inflated, and another remove its support for UK-produced product at this volatile time is extremely concerning.”
NSA draws attention to the fact the UK has an ample supply of lamb at the current time, with a large carryover into this year, and that AHDB has forecast UK lamb production to be 8-9% higher than the previous year.
Stocker continued: “NSA is proud to boast about the credentials of British lamb, which is one of the most sustainable products in the world with some of the highest welfare standards globally. It is therefore demoralising to see the blatant disregard some large retailers have for British produce.
“The agricultural industry is combating a period of extreme and unprecedented volatility within the marketplace, supply chains and input costs. Now is the time to champion British – and NSA applauds the retailers that are stepping up and doing the right thing.”