Asda, the Co-operative and Waitrose have come under fire by NFU Scotland (NFUS) for failing to stock Scotch Lamb.
In its latest shelf watch exercise, the farmers’ union visited a range of supermarkets across the country to see how much of their fresh lamb offering was labelled as Scottish.
During visits to Asda, Co-operative and Waitrose stores, none of the fresh lamb recorded by the union’s secret shoppers was marked as Scottish.
Of the 106 packs of fresh lamb seen in the Edinburgh Morningside branch of Waitrose, 100% was labelled as British or Welsh.
And in the nine Asda stores visited, including supermarkets in Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and Huntly, of the 598 packs of lamb recorded, 60% was labelled as British and 40% was from New Zealand.
In the nine Co-operative stores visited 100% of the fresh lamb on offer was labelled as British.
Other NFUS shelf watch findings included: Marks and Spencer stocking 26% Scottish and 74% British and Welsh lamb; Morrisons stocking 73% Scottish and 27% British lamb; Sainsbury’s stocking 56% Scottish and 44% British lamb; and Tesco stocking 59% Scottish, 34% British and 7% New Zealand lamb.
NFUS livestock committee chairman and Aberdeenshire farmer, Charlie Adam, said: “While the majority of the lamb was home-produced it was disappointing to see that Asda, the Co-operative and Waitrose had no lamb labelled as Scottish available.
“In particular Asda is way off the mark with competitors – stocking hundreds of packs of imported lamb at a time when Scottish lamb producers are busy finishing their stock. NFU Scotland will raise this issue directly with Asda in the coming days.”
He praised the efforts of other supermarket chains, in particular Aldi and Lidl for stocking 100% Scottish-origin fresh lamb, and said retailer support for Scotch Lamb provided confidence for the sector.
“Shoppers who are looking to buy Scottish lamb, to support local farmers and the rural economy are also encouraged to visit their local butchers, who are often strong supporters of Scottish lamb,” added Mr Adam.
He said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement last week of £200,000 towards a Scotch Lamb promotional campaign was welcomed and the union looked forward to the launch.