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"ShelfWatch" Survey Reveals Mixed Support for Scottish Produce in Supermarkets

Source: The DairyNews
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The second phase of "ShelfWatch," the largest survey of its kind focused on the availability of local food on Scottish supermarket shelves, continues to present a varied level of support for Scottish farmers, according to NFU Scotland. Launched in January, the initiative aims to highlight the accessibility of Scottish products in supermarkets.
"ShelfWatch" Survey Reveals Mixed Support for Scottish Produce in Supermarkets
During this latest round, an independent research firm surveyed 73 stores across mainland Scotland, examining the selection of own-label products like beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, vegetables, and dairy at major retailers including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Co-Op, Marks and Spencer, Lidl, and Aldi.

Findings fr om the survey indicate that Aldi leads in supporting Scottish goods, offering 45% Scottish products and leading in 12 of the 15 categories surveyed. Co-op rose to second place with 27.6% of its goods being Scottish, surpassing Lidl and Morrisons. At the lower end, Sainsbury's continued to show the least support for Scottish own-label products at 9.7%.

The survey highlighted strong retailer support for Scottish eggs and fresh milk, though noted that there is room for improvement in the representation of pork, lamb, chicken, and broader dairy products. Marks and Spencer was recognized for its commitment to British produce, with 85% of its products labeled as British or Scottish.

The study also identified issues with unclear labeling, particularly with bacon, wh ere UK and EU products were mixed, prompting calls from NFU Scotland for clearer labeling standards.

NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy noted that while the increase in Scottish product availability was modest, the survey provides a solid foundation for ongoing discussions with retailers and policymakers aimed at enhancing support for Scottish agriculture.

Kennedy emphasized the importance of these discussions, particularly in addressing labeling transparency, to ensure consumers are well-informed about the origins of the food they purchase.
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