Tesco and Asda shun sourcing local in Scotland
AN investigation of supermarket shelves carried out by NFU Scotland has shown major retailers Tesco and Asda shunning home produced pork and chicken in favour of cheap imports.
The union claimed the two supermarkets appeared to have taken advantage of falling pig and poultry prices in Europe to stock up on pork and chicken from overseas. While pork and chicken from Denmark and Holland were regularly imported, the worrying discovery was significant stocks of meat from France, Germany, and Northern Ireland.
NFUS president Jim McLaren described the action of the two supermarkets as ‘scandalous, shocking and well short of what Scotland’s pig and poultry farmers deserve’.
“The amount of home-produce found on some shelves was bitterly disappointing and casts a shadow over the routine claims of support for Scottish and British food and farming these retailers regularly make,” he added.
“The Tesco store we visited was proudly displaying a Specially Selected Scotch Pork banner on a shelf of pigmeat sourced from France, Holland and Northern Ireland. That is unacceptable and we have raised the matter with both Quality Meat Scotland and Tesco themselves.
“Those discussions with Tesco have been frank and reassurances have been given that a significant improvement in the volumes of Scottish pork appearing on its shelves can be expected in the coming weeks. We will look to hold them to that.”
By comparison, the union found Morrisons continued to ‘demonstrate a considerable commitment’ to Scottish and British produce.
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, a member of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, described it as a ‘shocking’ find.
“At a time when Scotland’s producers are facing record input costs, we are seeing supermarkets stacking their shelves with meat from the Netherlands, Denmark, France and even further afield.”
THE union had visited the Morrisons store at Johnstone, Renfrewshire; Asda, Linwood, Renfrewshire and Tesco, Bathgate, Midlothian.
- Morrisons was found to be well-stocked with a selection of fresh British pork and British chicken. Bacon was predominantly Dutch and Danish, although British bacon was available at the same price.
- Asda’s fresh chickens and chicken were predominantly Scottish or British, but virtually all bacon was imported, as were gammon and bacon joint. Its value range of pork chops was a mix of French and German.
- Tesco appeared to have no British bacon available. Whole of fresh chicken was largely identified as Scottish or British. Fresh pork shelves, though carrying a Specially Selected Scotch banner, were stocked with Dutch, French and Northern Irish product. The only Scottish pork found was a small selection of belly pork.