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NFU Scotland to undertake largest ever survey of food on sale in Scottish Supermarkets

Martin Kennedy (NFU Scotland President)

ON BEHALF of farmers and crofters, NFU Scotland is undertaking the largest ever survey of Scottish supermarket shelves, shining a light on how and where Scottish produce is being made available to buy.

Knowing that Scottish consumers want to source local produce, the survey will celebrate and recognise good practice on supermarket shelves while identifying those stores where more can be done. It will highlight how consumers and retailers can build their support the amazing produce from our Scottish farmers and crofters.

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On the Union’s behalf, an independent research firm will visit 73 stores across Scotland in the next 48 hours.  Researchers will look at beef, lamb, pork, chicken, soft fruit, vegetables and dairy products (milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt) on offer in Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Lidl and Aldi stores.  The survey will look at the country of origin of the goods being offered, identify if they are Scottish, British or imported, and also look at the price.

This is the first of four ShelfWatch surveys to be carried out on behalf of NFU Scotland in the next 12 months and the first set of results will be presented at the Union’s National AGM, conference and annual dinner, taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on 8 and 9 February. 

All retailers involved in the survey have been notified in advance and invited to join a panel session at the AGM to discuss the results. 

NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said: “Primary producers provide all of society with the one thing that we cannot do without, which is food. However, securing a fair return from the marketplace, whilst carrying all the risk, remains a real challenge for farmers and crofters.

“The ways in which Scottish consumers can support local produce through the likes of local shops and butchers, farm shops, farmers’ markets, and direct sales from the farm are growing. But supermarkets are by far the dominant force when it comes to food sales. It is right that, through this major independent retail survey, we shine a light on whether they are meeting their responsibilities.

“The first results from this survey, to be revealed at our AGM and Conference, will give us a fantastic opportunity to not only hold our retailers to account and highlight to our consumers what is going on in some shops, but also give credit to those who are tremendous supporters of local food production within Scotland.

“All major retailers have a role to play if we are to genuinely tackle the deepening food security crisis. The results of this survey give us a platform for future discussions with supermarkets on responsible treatment of suppliers and guaranteed delivery of a fair price to producers for the food they produce. All retailers are invited to join us at our AGM to highlight what commitments they are undertaking to support Scottish farmers and crofters.” 

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