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NFU Scotland launches Shelf Watch campaign

NFU Scotland has launched a ‘Shelf Watch’ campaign in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 21 June) designed to show the best – and worst – of Scottish branding on shop shelves.

‘Spot it – Snap it – Send it’ encourages supermarket customers to use their mobile phones or cameras to snap a picture of examples of good, and bad, uses of Scottish labelling while out doing their grocery shopping. 

NFU Scotland will be working with its members, and with volunteers from Consumer Focus Scotland, to monitor how Scottish branding and advertising correlates with produce that can be found on supermarket shelves, and is encouraging all consumers to take part in the campaign.

Nigel Miller, President of NFU Scotland said:

“Every day of the week, the Scottish label is recognised and valued by shoppers, and that is worth millions to the Scottish food and farming industry each year.

“Scottish branding is clearly important to retailers and, in the vast majority of supermarkets, is used appropriately to promote sales of Scottish produce.

“However, instances of high profile Scottish branding being used inappropriately on shelves, counters and cabinets – some of which on closer inspection are found to be stocked with produce from elsewhere - continues to be an issue.

“Over the years we have heard from numerous consumers annoyed to find that Scottish branding has been used, however inadvertently, to advertise non-Scottish produce. While this may simply be a case of poor shelf management, we believe consumers could be misled regarding the origin of the products they are purchasing, and so to tackle this we are launching a campaign to ensure that Scottish branding always means Scottish food.

“We are looking to highlight both good and bad practice in this area and asking that when consumers spot Scottish branding, that they double check that the produce on the shelves is indeed Scottish. If they see something that either delights or concerns them about Scottish produce on shop shelves, then we ask that they simply snap a picture of it on their mobile phones, or with a camera, and send it to us at NFU Scotland.

“When a poor example of the use of Scottish branding is found, we will be contacting the retailer directly to ask that the situation be corrected. Failure to address legitimate concerns will see information passed directly to Trading Standards Officers for investigation.

“On a monthly basis we will be collating all information received from consumers and publicising the results through all media channels.

“It is our hope that the Shelf Watch campaign will ensure Scottish produce appears on the right shop shelf so that consumers can make the choice to buy Scottish.  At the same time, we hope to significantly reduce the instances of co-mingling – where inappropriate produce ends up on the wrong shelf with the potential to confuse shoppers. 

“Working with retailers in this manner, I think we can build on the tremendous customer loyalty that exists in Scotland to buy Scottish and keep moving Scotland’s food and farming industries forward.”

Sarah O’Neill, Director of Policy at Consumer Focus Scotland added:

“Our research in the past has shown a wide variety of labels and pictures being used on packs and shelves to signify that produce is Scottish, but shoppers are seldom told precisely what these mean and so are left to make their own assumptions about quality and origins of the products.  We hope that this initiative by NFU Scotland will help encourage those retailers which may be, whether inadvertently or otherwise, allowing consumers to be confused or misled by inaccurate or confusing messages to put things right.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The Shelf Watch campaign ‘Spot it – Snap it – Send it’ was launched at the Gyle Shopping Centre, Edinburgh, today (Tuesday, 21 June).
  • Examples of good or bad uses of Scottish branding can be photographed and sent to 07920 018 621, or shelfwatch@nfus.org.uk, along with the name and location of the store. Examples can also be sent to NFU Scotland Head Office in Edinburgh.
  • Shelf Watch will be carried out across all major grocery stores in Scotland and across all fresh categories including soft fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat and poultry products.  
  • Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainbury, Tesco and Waitrose have been made aware of the Shelf Watch campaign.
  • If you would like any further information regarding the campaign, please contact either Scott Walker or Wendy Fleming at NFU Scotland head office on 0131 472 4000. 

Ends

Contact Wendy Fleming on 0131 472 4020

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 111/11


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