94 percent of beef in Scotland's supermarkets is local, survey finds

Scottish beef is in good supply at major supermarkets in Scotland
Scottish beef is in good supply at major supermarkets in Scotland

A new survey has found that 94 percent of the beef available across Scottish supermarkets visited was labelled either as British or Scottish.

The survey, by NFU Scotland, showed that 61 percent of packs were labelled explicitly as Scottish or Scotch Beef PGI.

Secret shoppers studied supermarket shelves across the country to identify the strongest supporters of domestic beef over imported.

Almost 96 per cent of packs counted in Aldi stores were explicitly Scottish while 88 per cent of packs in Lidl stores were labelled as Scottish or Scotch.

In Tesco stores, 90 percent of beef counted was labelled as Scotch, demonstrating strong support from the country’s largest food retailer.

However, volumes of non-UK beef in both Sainsbury’s and Asda were significant, with almost one in every 10 packs counted coming from outside the UK.

Secret shoppers also reported co-mingling of home-produced and imported beef in these retailers, making it harder for the public to identify and buy home-produced beef.

NFU Scotland Livestock Committee Chairman, Jimmy Ireland the results are 'encouraging' for farmers and crofters.

“In Scotland we are gifted with heavy rainfall and great grass growth, allowing us to sustainably produce top quality beef while supporting a healthy environment,” he said.

“Shoppers should be confident that the majority of their local retailers stock Scottish beef in good quantities, meaning that they can rest assured that they are supporting their local farmers when they are making their home-made steak pies, beef curries and burgers.

“It is National Butchers Week this week so shoppers are reminded they can also find Scottish beef readily available at their local butchers and farm shops, which are always strong supporters of domestic food production,” he said.

The survey shows that Morrisons, Co-op, Aldi, Marks & Spencer, Lidl and Waitrose stocked 100 per cent home-produced beef, while Tesco stocks 99 per cent home-produced beef, with 90 per cent labelled as Scotch.

“We do however need to see ASDA and Sainsbury’s improve their performance by increasing domestic sourcing,” Mr Ireland said.

“Scotland’s farmers and crofters are very proud of their high standards of production and our ability to feed the nation despite the challenges of the tumultuous Scottish weather and political uncertainty.”