Retailers should listen to their customers and show their support for British farming by stocking more British food, the NFU’s past president Peter Kendall said.
A year on from the horsemeat scandal, a survey commissioned by the NFU shows that the pressure on supermarkets to sell more British food is as strong now as it was when a similar survey was carried out in the immediate aftermath of the scandal.
Mr Kendall said: “The YouGov survey shows 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.”
After the horsemeat scandal public trust in the supermarkets dropped significantly – from 69% to 35% according to a 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: “Our farmers want to know that when retailers say they are backing British farming, they are doing so at every turn and at every opportunity.
“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.”