NFU praises Sainsbury’s in Tesco Price Promise row

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has praised Sainsbury’s, following a complaint against Tesco’s Price Promise, which claims it compares prices of products with unequal quality.

Sainsbury’s has continued to emphasise its use of products sourced from Britain, which it says are of better provenance and ethics than the products they are compared with.

Following the recent rejection of the complaint by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the NFU has stated that comparing British ham with EU ham is not fair.

NFU director of policy Martin Haworth said: “We can only applaud Sainsbury’s for promoting its use of British-sourced produce. Comparing EU ham with ham produced in Britain is wrong and misleading to consumers.

“The NFU wants to work with all retailers to build stronger working relationships that back British farming. From our own research this year with One Poll, 78% of consumers thought supermarkets should stock more British food.”

Sainsbury’s has claimed that consumers are still concerned with the provenance and ethics, regardless of the credit crunch.

Group commercial director for Sainsbury’s Mike Coup said: “If anything, the downturn has led to strengthening of values, irrespective of income group, and in fact Sainsbury’s customers are buying more sustainably sourced food than ever before.”

Sainsbury’s claimed that it places a great deal of importance on, for example, Fairtrade products, which have been compared to Tesco products that are not Fairtrade.

Coupe continued: “It’s not good enough simply to claim, as Tesco does, that you operate to certain ethical or sourcing standards if you’re not prepared to submit yourself in a consistent way to scrutiny such as this. That’s why we team up with organisations like MSC and RSPCA Freedom Foods, and that’s why others should.”

Haworth added: “And 42% of people said they were more likely to buy more traceable food produced on British farms. It is up to everyone to work together to ensure we get more British food on more British plates.”

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