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Stackyard News Apr 08

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NFUS Welcome for Supermarket Summit

NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement of a supermarket summit, to be chaired by the First Minister.

NFUS Chief Executive James Withers

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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