Farming News - NSA angered as supermarket backtracks on pledge to support for British farmers

NSA angered as supermarket backtracks on pledge to support for British farmers

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is dismayed and frustrated following the announcement from leading supermarket Morrisons that it will no longer sell solely British lamb in its stores.

Having previously been known for its support for British agriculture NSA says that the move is hugely disappointing and goes against all the principles on which the supermarket has built its reputation amongst the farming community.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker says: "We learnt of this disappointing news whilst returning from the Field to Fork Summit held yesterday with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street. An event that was designed to show support for UK agriculture and where the supermarket itself had a presence promoting its commitment to British farmers. So, the timing of this announcement is really quite unbelievable.

"This is a very poor decision, and something NSA warned could happen during the negotiations around the new trade deals agreed with Australia and New Zealand last year."

Morrisons announced that it would cease its former commitment to stock only British lamb stating that customers were seeking cheaper lamb and that this could be sourced more easily from New Zealand.

Mr Stocker continues: "UK Sheep Farmers have been receiving strong prices for their produce over recent months, but if we want high standards in the UK then these are realistic prices that are needed for farmers to produce lamb sustainably and at a price that can allow much needed reinvestment into their farms.

"And not forgetting the UK sheep sector has endured a very difficult winter and early spring with seriously challenging weather conditions, Schmallenberg virus causing losses on many farms, plus the threat of Bluetongue virus arriving from Europe this summer. All these things are causing a level of uncertainty amongst many farmers. The last thing UK producers now need is for their prices to be undermined by cheaper imports."