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NFU president calls for more British food in UK supermarkets

NFU president calls for more British food in UK supermarkets

Retailers should be stocking more British, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU) president Peter Kendall.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the NFU revealed British consumers overwhelmingly support the idea that supermarkets should stock more British food and goods, especially amid concerns remaining about the security of the food chain.

Following the horsemeat scandal, there was a substantial downturn in support for supermarkets with many people concerned about the traceability of food and this lead to a surge in demand for domestic products that have met regulatory standards.

However, Mr Kendall believes that rather than being a knee-jerk reaction to the scandal, consumers do still want UK produce on shop shelves, with the survey showing 78 per cent of people wanting a change in stocking levels by supermarkets - higher than opinion polls conducted in the wake of the so-called 'horsegate' incident.

"I'm constantly told by some supermarkets that their sourcing policies are determined by what their customers want. This survey shows very clearly that consumers want more British food, so I hope they will take this on board and act on it," said the NFU president.

He added: "We're not saying that supermarkets should not stock any foreign produce. But we would urge the retailers to listen to what consumers are saying."

Mr Kendall also acknowledged the work being done by retailers to help rebuild trust within the industry and the initiatives being launched by some supermarkets to clearly label products so that consumers can make informed choices about where their food comes from.

However, he admitted the major supermarkets could do more by selling produce that displays the NFU-backed Red Tractor Logo, creating strong relationships with supplies and establishing supply arrangements with farmers.

According to recent figures, Britain still imports around 60 per cent of its food and there has been growing concern in recent months about the pressure being placed on UK farmers to lower prices following widespread supermarket discounting of imported red meat products.

 

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