NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement of a supermarket summit,
to be chaired by the First Minister.
NFUS Chief Executive James Withers
NFUS has stressed the importance of supermarkets turning
warm words into real action if the Scottish Government's national
food policy is to be successful.
The retailers' role in establishing sustainable relationships with
suppliers, promoting local food and drink and making it easier
for customers to identify Scottish produce will all be critical. Nowadays, many supermarket shoppers make their purchases online. This allows them to compare the price of produce, in much the same way as people visit Credit Card Comparison websites to make sure they are getting the best deals. Unfortunately, this also means that it is sometimes even more difficult to identify which food items are produced within Scotland.
NFU Scotland will be finalising its submission to the Scottish
Government's food policy discussion this week.
NFUS Chief Executive James Withers said:
“This supermarket summit has been a long time in coming and
could not be happening at a more critical time. Food security and
supply concerns are all over the news headlines at the moment and
there are very real concerns about the spiralling cost of producing
food in this country and abroad. The pressure on pig farmers and
the threat to the future supply of Scottish pork products is just
one part of a wider story.
“The relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers
is very much in the spotlight, so too the potential for the big
retailers to help shoppers more easily identify local produce and
improve their diet.
“There are very good supermarket and supplier relationships
out there but they need to be more widespread. Every link in the
supply chain must be sustainable if the future supply of high quality
food and drink is to be secured.
“The willingness of the Scottish Government to engage directly
with the major retailers is hugely important and the ambitious
move to develop a national food policy must have their involvement
at its heart.
“You cannot walk into a supermarket these days without seeing
them emphasise their 'local' credentials. That is a massive step
forward and it reflects the growing consumer demand for quality
Scottish food and drink. However, the efforts of the supermarkets
must going beyond the glossy posters and adverts and truly be about
engaging directly and fairly with food producers.”
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