NFU protests against Tesco's NZ lamb promotion

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) staged a protest outside the Tesco stand at the Royal Welsh show yesterday (21 July) against its promotion of New Zealand lamb during prime British lambing season.

Around 60 farmers protested outside the Tesco stand with placards saying “New Zealand isn’t Welsh” and “Welsh lamb is in season. Where is Tesco’s backing?”

The farmers are protesting against promotions on New Zealand lamb which is at the end of its season, while British lamb is at its peak. Meurig Raymond, NFU president, said the promotion was “misleading” consumers.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe, who was among the protestors yesterday morning, said: “Livestock farmers here and across the country are angry, disappointed and frustrated at the way some retailers are continuing to promote an end-of-season product, which many view as inferior, over Red Tractor-assured, fresh lamb produced in the fields, valleys and hills of England and Wales.

“We’re highlighting Tesco as we believe they are failing to live up to the commitments made by their outgoing chief executive Philip Clarke at the NFU Conference last year that Tesco should be the best supporter of British farmers and that it wished to shorten the supply chain.

“We will continue to keep up the pressure on all retailers and the independent Beef & Lamb Watch results just out highlight those retailers who aren’t backing British farming and living up to commitments made on sourcing.”

Tesco have released an official statement which said: “We sell more British lamb than any other retailer and we are proud to sell and promote British lamb to our millions of customers right across the UK.

“This season we expect to sell more British lamb than ever before and over the next few weeks we are running fantastic half price promotions on British lamb in our stores.”

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