Sainsbury's commits to organic deals

SAINSBURY'S IS the first supermarket to sign a contract in a move which addresses the long-term supply of its British organic beef supply.

There are also plans for another 50 contracts to follow within the next four months.

The supermarket's ultimate aim is to extend this commitment to the rest of its organic beef suppliers.

It kick starts a major drive ­between Sainsbury's and Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) to support the nation's farming industry. Contracts for organic pork with Hull-based processors Cranswick and for lamb with Oriel Jones processors in South Wales will also follow within the year.

The year-long contract between Sainsbury's, ABP and Shane Brettell, an organic beef and egg producer from Shrewsbury, aims to ensure fair price and best organic practise.

Brettell said: "Formalising the partnership in the form of a contract was the next natural step to take. I can now plan for the longer term, knowing what I am going to get paid for what I produce."

Sainsbury's have been selling British organic beef since the early 1990's and launched the first producer contracts for in-conversion organic producers in 1999.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said: "This recent development further reinforces Sainsbury's commitment to British organic meat supply. During periods of shortage of organic beef, Sainsbury's remained loyal to home-produced product, when competitors were attracted to cheaper, organic beef from abroad."

Phil Stocker, Head of Food and Farming at the Soil Association said: "This record is something that Sainsbury's can be proud of and is probably one of the reasons for their strong organic sales. Livestock production is a long term business where, for too long, farmers have paid all their production costs before they have any indication of what the end product is worth, or whether the product will be in demand.

"This is why the Soil Association is delighted to see Sainsbury's and ABP starting to commit to contracts, offering longer term business relationships, allowing all parties to work towards a sustainable future."

Justin King, Sainsbury's Chief Executive says; "We are offering a long-term commitment that will bring stability to British organic producers and benefit Sainsbury's customers, who will have greater availability and choice."

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