Supermarket giant Tesco has delivered a stinging blow to Scotland’s farmers by selling imported lamb beneath a banner proclaiming support for Scottish sheep farmers.
According to angry NFU officials, shelves of New Zealand lamb were found in the Tesco Extra store at Hermiston Gait, under a banner heralding ‘The Best Scottish Lamb in Season’.
MEP Alyn Smith, who recently met with NFU officials to discuss the ongoing crises in Scottish agriculture, said:
“Tesco say they’re “keen to showcase Scottish food and drink”, so why on earth are they promoting imported lamb during the peak season for Scottish lamb?
“It’s no secret that Scotland’s farmers are struggling, and the utterly reprehensible Unfair Trading Practices carried out by supermarkets - such as the threat of delisting and retrospective discounts – are a huge part of that. The supermarkets have to take responsibility instead of giving us the usual saccharine platitudes.
“According to the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA)’s own report released in June, over half of the complaints made to the GCA were about Tesco. I’ve already written to the GCA to highlight today’s findings and enquire what, if any, action will be undertaken.”
NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie added:
“This kind of point of sale abuse of the ‘Scottish’ brand makes Scottish farmers’ blood boil. It is difficult to put into words just how angry hard-working sheep farmers feel when they spot some excellent promotion of Scottish lamb in a Tesco store only to find the shelves below are filled with imported product.
“Consumers looking to support Scottish farmers and buy Scottish lamb would see this point of sale material, pick up a pack of lamb often without realising that it does nothing to support our sheep sector here in Scotland.
“By way of a response, we will not be fobbed off by Tesco telling us that this is a one-off or that it was simply human error because we have had that excuse before.”