NFU reveals which supermarkets support British meat

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has launched an online supermarket sourcing guide that allows consumers to know who is backing British farming. 

Over the last 12 months, the organisation has been working to establish the sourcing policies of all the major retailers on their ‘own brand’ products.

The online guide showed that discounter Aldi, alongside Morrisons, sourced all their beef and lamb from British farmers on their standard and premium lines with Asda, The Co-operative and Sainsbury’s sourcing 100% British for their premium lines of beef and lamb only.

According to the NFU, The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose all claimed that their standard line beef came from British producers. However, they only sourced lamb from Britain during certain times of the year.

The NFU’s chief food chain adviser Ruth Mason highlighted the importance of transparency for consumers in the food supply chain.

“We want to promote British food to the general public and support shoppers who want to buy British food by helping them find it at different retailers,” she said.

“If consumers know who is sourcing from British farmers and growers, it allows them to make an informed choice about which retailers they want to buy from. The guide enables them to evaluate the performance of their regular retailer in terms of supporting British farming.

“What is needed is transparency,” added Mason. “The overriding message for consumers is to buy British food and use this guide to be savvy about retailer sourcing policies for own-brand products.

“We also want all of the major retailers to pledge their support for the NFU’s Back British Farming Charter.”

The guide will be updated due to sourcing policies constantly changing, said the NFU. However, it is calling for all retailers to build more transparent and sustainable supply chains.

Another point raised by the organisation was the lack of clarity regarding labelling. This made it difficult for British consumers to identify British produce. The NFU recognised that shoppers could overcome this issue by looking for the Red Tractor logo with the Union Jack on it, meaning the food could be traced back to a British farm. 

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