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Slam over lamb and where's the beef? Harper hits out

MSP Emma Harper

SOUTH Scotland MSP Emma Harper has raised concerns over a lack of Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and Scotch pork on the shelves of some of the major supermarkets across Dumfries and Galloway and Scotland. The Scottish Farmer has detailed the Scotch percentage by range of retailer at the large supermarket chains; Tesco, Asda, Co-op, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi. Tesco, who supplied up to 87pc Scotch Beef and 67pc Scotch Lamb as of November 2019, had zero of the same product on their shelves in the month of May this year. Asda, which previously stocked 15pc of Scotch beef and 19pc of Scotch lamb last November, has now reduced its supplies of the Scottish quality brand to 13pc of Scotch beef and zero Scotch lamb. In comparison, Morrisons has increased its supply from 70pc of Scotch beef to 78pc and Scotch lamb from 75pc to 78pc - which the South Scotland MSP has welcomed. On the positive side, Miss Harper has applauded the fact that both Aldi and Lidl supermarkets have chosen to champion Quality Meat Scotland brand products - Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and Scotch pork brand with 100pc of both products in both stores. Miss Harper said: “I am concerned that quantities of Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and Scotch pork have been diminishing on the shelves of some of the country's leading supermarkets. “Supermarkets should be supporting Scottish food and drink brands and farmers, now more than ever, and providing customers with quality, locally reared produce. “Scotland has been internationally recognised for having the finest quality beef and lamb in the world. I want to take the opportunity to applaud Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl who have recognised this, and who have been stocking increased quantities of Scottish meat products. “All Scottish politicians should be supporting our farmers, producers and consumers by protecting the Scottish quality meat brand. Additionally, I call on supermarkets in Scotland to, as far as possible, stock Scottish meat products. “It is also worth noting, since my election, I have been fighting to ensure, after the UK leaves that EU, that our Scottish produce is protected from cheap and inferior imitation from other countries through ensuring that they remain protected through Protected Geographical Indication Status – currently provided by the EU.” Alan Clarke, Chief Executive at Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Scottish farmers work hard to produce world-class, quality assured brands such as Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI. Scottish consumers are rightly concerned that due to Covid-19 the Scotch labels were removed from shelves in some supermarkets and we have been in regular contact, working behind the scenes, with all major supermarkets to get our brands back on their shelves for consumers to purchase and enjoy”. It is understood supermarkets changed their supply blend during the Coronavirus crisis but critics say an urgent return to previous arrangements os overdue.

<< back Published: 11 Jun 2020, 10:40

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