Supermarkets are Switching to Scotch

However ScotchWatch shows some retailers slow to react to surge in Scottish lamb supplies
NFU Scotland’s ScotchWatch, which regularly monitors Scottish supermarket shelves, has found that significant amounts of fresh, tasty Scottish spring lamb are now available.
The Union wants to see all Scottish shoppers get access to this succulent product but an examination of shop shelves shows that while some retailers are showing 100 percent commitment to Scottish lamb, others have significant volumes of imported New Zealand meat on display.
Lots of Scottish prime lambs are now available.  Data from the Scottish auctioneers has shown that, thanks to the good weather, the number of spring lambs passing through the auction markets in the six weeks up to 11 June is up 86 percent year-on-year on the same period last year.
In its ScotchWatch results, NFU Scotland found Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl stocking 100 percent Scottish lamb; Tesco and Asda had significant amounts of Scottish and British lamb on display with legs of lamb from New Zealand also available; approximately 50 percent of the lamb available in Sainsburys was from New Zealand and 100 percent of the lamb in the Marks and Spencer store visited was from New Zealand.
Given the volume of fresh, tasty lamb available on their doorstep, NFU Scotland will use meetings at the Highland Show, which starts at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, on Thursday to encourage retailers to switch to Scotch now.
NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller said:
“Blessed with better weather this spring, Scottish shoppers will be delighted to know that fresh, succulent Scottish spring lamb is available and in many butchers and supermarkets right now.  
“Our latest ScotchWatch survey has shown that many retailers are already showing great commitment to Scottish lamb.  That will be welcomed by those Scottish farmers working hard to get lamb onto the shelves when it is at its tastiest.  
“Getting these important retailer supply chains opened up now helps those producing prime lambs, ensuring these animals reach the marketplace when they are at their best and avoiding any backlog of lambs building up on farms.
“If almost all independent butchers and most retailers can show 100 percent commitment to Scottish lamb, farmers will rightly be asking why others are still buying and shipping in out-of-season lamb from the Southern Hemisphere to fill up their shelves.  Scottish lamb is ready now and it is time for them to switch to Scotch.
“Scottish farmers are not naive in the way the market works and fully accept that at some points of the year it may be necessary to have some imported product on the shelf to ensure those looking for lamb can be satisfied. However, this has been a great year for stock and the fact that the spring lamb season has come early is an opportunity for retailers to give their customers what they want – fresh, local produce in season.
“In light of the Horsegate debacle, there is an expectation from consumers that retailers will do their best to source product closer to home.  We will use our meetings with many retailers at the Highland Show this week to seek reassurances that, where possible, they will work to put clearly identified Scottish produce on Scottish supermarket shelves.  
“There have been some excellent developments in the labelling of Scottish produce in recent months, including lamb, and our ScotchWatch work will continue to monitor how well supermarkets are supporting Scottish farmers.”  
Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 113/14

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