NFU head points to need for supply chain confidence

The president of the National Farmersí Union (NFU) has welcomed Tescoís backing for British meat, saying farmers need confidence to put the building blocks in place to boost the UK supply chain.

Speaking ahead of the NFUís annual conference in Birmingham today, Peter Kendall said: "We need to invest to get the confidence for us to build a sustainable supply chain. All signals point towards people wanting to buy more British product. We want to work closely with the retailers and processors to make sure it happens."

He said that despite all the horse jokes, people had been genuinely shocked that they were deceived about what they were buying and by the complexity in the supply chain. "The situation gives us a real opportunity Ė not to charge massive amounts for food, but to supply British product to meet all price points."

However, he said any shift would take time: "You cannot shorten the supply chain on beef overnight, for example." And he warned against overpromising. "You canít bullshit the public, and you canít pull the wool over their eyes with false promises.

"There is potential there, but itís a long-term change and we need confidence to make those investments."