Clear sourcing from Tesco needed

As a sheep producer, I take great pride in British lamb and sending our product to supermarkets for the public to enjoy. However, we’re in the middle of peak British lamb season and it has come to light that Tesco’s British lamb facings have fallen by 15% compared to last year. 

The statistics from the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s Beef and Lamb Watch leave producers extremely frustrated, which is why the National Farmers’ Union has called on Tesco to make its sourcing policy for British lamb clear.

As Brexit looms, the livestock sector needs the support of retailers – particularly one that claims to be UK agriculture’s biggest customer. By now, the concerns of the sector regarding Brexit should be well known to major retailers, but it seems I need to reiterate that unclear sourcing policies do nothing to inspire farmers’ confidence.

British food is a valued product and surveys have shown that 86% of shoppers want to see more British food on shelves. With so many retailers taking positive steps to promote British food and support producers, it’s a shame that Tesco seems not to be supporting British during peak season when our lamb is in plentiful supply and of great quality.

A clear sourcing policy from Tesco for British lamb would allow producers to plan future production, but crucially it would also provide clarity and confidence at a time when this is paramount.

About the Author:

Charles Sercombe

Charles Sercombe NFU livestock board chairman and sheep farmer from Leicestershire.

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