Asda has assured Scottish farmers that it is “moving towards” sourcing and selling more Specially Selected Pork (SSP) from Scotland, a commitment which was given to industry leaders during a meeting at the recent Royal Highland Show, held near Edinburgh.
The Asda pledge was immediately welcomed by NFU Scotland vice president, Andrew McCornick, as “good news for the nation’s hard-pressed pig producers”.
The SSP commitment was secured during a series of face-to-face showground meetings between NFUS and representatives from the major supermarkets. In addition to Asda, the union team met representatives from Tesco, Morrisons, the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Aldi, urging each in turn to give more backing to home-grown products.
“We have made good progress in our discussions with retailers with some positive results for Scottish farmers and crofters,” said Mr McCornick, adding that in light of the “new political landscape” which the industry finds itself following the EU referendum, it is clear that more must be done to build a supply chain which benefits Scottish food and farming in the face of a more uncertain future.
“Retailers have to recognise the sustainable characteristics of the food produced here in Scotland, and that further co-operation is necessary to build the resilience of our industry so that it remains a reliable source of safe, tasty and nutritious food in an ever-changing world.”
The union team also warned that ongoing food price deflation is having a signficant impact at farm level, stressing that low market returns in virtually every sector is challenging profitability on many Scottish farms.