NBA Urge Supermarkets to Rethink Meat Displays

Food retailers who sell meat from several countries on the same shelf are going against the wishes of their customers and making it more difficult for them to buy the product they prefer, according to the National Beef Association (NBA).

The NBA's comments follow on from a recent NOP survey for the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) which confirmed that 59% of consumers want to see fresh meat displayed according to country of origin.

Robert Forster, chief executive of NBA, said: "Supermarkets are always saying that they must listen to their customers but the majority are prepared to turn their back to the very clear messages that are coming through on mixed country of origin selling techniques.

"Customers want to see home-produced and imported beef kept well separate but the response from many multiples is to insist on keeping, and even refining, their mingled displays."

Forster added that the NBA was not surprised by the results of the NOP survey as it has always been aware of strong consumer resistance to the presentation of products from mixed countries of origin.

"It seems to us that consumers, who wish to select on the basis of provenance and integrity, as well as price, are being prevented from clearly indicating which country's beef they prefer - and then of course there are customers who simply pick up the wrong packet and do not realize they have made a mistake until they have got home," Forster added.