Positive developments for Scottish meat on retailer shelves

Positive developments for Scottish meat on retailer shelves

NFU Scotland’s regular look at the availability of Scottish meat on Scottish retailer shelves has highlighted some positive developments.

ScotchWatch tracks retailer commitment to making sure that beef, lamb, pork and chicken from Scottish farms is labelled as being Scottish. It involves NFU Scotland representatives checking retail shelves on a regular basis and assessing the ratio of shelf facings dedicated to Scottish labelled meat as opposed to meat labelled as British or imported.

Meat labelled as British in some Scottish stores may still be Scottish. However, the Union believes there is an opportunity to tap into Scottish consumer support for Scottish produce by, where possible, properly labelling all Scottish meat with its country of origin. That would benefit our producers, processors, retailers and consumers.

Recent visits to Tesco stores have shown a significant increase in the amount of beef on its shelves clearly identified as being Scottish. The Union’s ScotchWatch team also found Lidl has changed from labelling its chicken as British to Scottish – a highly positive move given the recent restructuring within the Scottish chicken industry.

The Union has been in touch with both retailers congratulating them on their efforts to highlight Scottish produce.

NFU Scotland’s Food Chains Relationship Manager Kylie Barclay said: “Scottish farmers are always staggered by the Scottish public’s support for Scottish produce and that is why we are so keen to see Scottish products clearly identified on shop shelves

“While retailers have a strong commitment to Scottish produce, we discovered food from Scottish farms appearing in Scottish stores under British or own brand labels. We have a great story to tell and started ScotchWatch with the intention of making the Scottish label the preferred option – building Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink both at home and in other parts of the UK as well.

“This month, there was a significant increase in the volume of fresh beef in Tesco stores clearly identified with the Scotch beef branding. During the first three months of the year, ScotchWatch found that just over 20 percent of fresh beef in the Tesco stores visited carried the Scotch label. In the April visits, that figure had gone up to almost 90 percent.

“That is great news and discussions with the retailer have seen it reinstate its commitment to have all fresh beef in its Scottish stores bearing the Scotch label by the summer.

“Given the recent turmoil in the Scottish chicken sector, we felt it appropriate to extend our ScotchWatch activity into this sector. In January, Lidl, was displaying only British labelled chicken but it was pleasing to see many product lines clearly identified as Scottish when we visited stores in April. The company has confirmed that its all-year round listed poultry lines, with the exception of free range chicken, are now labelled as Scottish.”

“ScotchWatch has shown that positive things are happening in helping Scottish consumers clearly identify Scottish produce and we will continue to work with all retailers in encouraging them to make good use of Scottish labelling.”

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