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Consumers want to buy British food

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

NFU LEADER: Peter Kendall.

NFU LEADER: Peter Kendall.

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THE National Farmers Union (NFU) believes public pressure on the big supermarkets to stock British food hasn't lessened since the horsemeat scandal last year.

Union president Peter Kendall has urged retailers to listen to their customers and show their support for British farming by stocking more British food.

Speaking at the union's annual meeting he referred to a YouGov survey commissioned by the NFU which showed that 79% of British people think British supermarkets should sell more food produced on British farms.

"I'm constantly told by some supermarkets that their sourcing policies are determined by what their customers want.

"This survey shows very clearly that consumers want more British food, so I hope they will take this on board and act on it.

"We're not saying that supermarkets should not stock any foreign produce. But we would urge the retailers to listen to what consumers are saying.

"The horsemeat scandal showed us that food security isn't just about an abundance of supply. It's also about safety, quality and transparency.

"British farmers and growers provide some of the highest quality produce in the world to high standards of quality, welfare and traceability and consumers want to buy it."

After the horsemeat scandal public trust in the supermarkets dropped significantly - from 69% to 35% according to a OnePoll survey in February 2013. A question asked by YouGov 12 months later shows the level of trust is now 52% but is still some way off trust levels before the revelations.

Mr Kendall said: " There are many ways retailers can show their support – through stocking food that carries the Red Tractor logo; through the relationships they've created with their farmer suppliers; and through the types of supply arrangements they have in place with farmers."

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