The National Beef Association is looking forward to a radical alteration in Somerfield’s beef stocking policy now that it has been taken over by the Co-op.
Recent sales information reveals that almost 30 per cent of beef sold through Somerfield is imported. This is in direct contrast to its parent company, the Co-op, which has a longstanding, and deserved, reputation for buying only beef produced within the UK.
“The Co-op is among the few UK owned companies which fully backs a sustainable national production base by refusing to sell imported fresh beef and the NBA is hoping that it will only be a matter of weeks before there are similar changes to Somerfield’s beef stocking policy too,” said its director, Kim Haywood.
“Up until now Somerfield’s approach to beef origin has been promiscuous but if it follows the excellent example set by its new parent this undesirable, and short sighted, trait can be quickly corrected.”
And the NBA would also like to see Asda, which has the lowest commitment to UK origin beef among the big four retail companies, make more effort to buy more beef produced by UK farmers.
“It ought to follow the example of Morrisons whose public, and advertised, commitment to the 100 per cent purchase of home produced beef is setting an emerging national standard,” said Ms Haywood.
“Morrisons shares the same North of England origins as Asda, and the two companies compete, head to head, on many sites across their joint Northern heartland.”
“Recent market information clearly shows that Morrisons is winning new customers and creating extra business on the basis of its unwavering commitment to British beef.”
“It seems strange that Asda, which currently includes around 40 per cent imported beef among its sales, does not follow the example set by Morrisons because the longer it continues to sell imported beef the greater the advantage it hands to its increasingly influential retail competitor.”
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