Somerfield backs Wales

Following concerns voiced by a number of Brecon and Radnor NFU Cymru members, Somerfield have launched a new promotional campaign for Welsh meat.

The supermarket, which was criticised by NFU members for its meat sourcing policy at the Llandrindod Wells store, will be promoting Welsh reared meat in a bid to show its support for the Welsh livestock industry.

NFU Cymru County Chairman, Andrew Lloyd, and John Davies, Council Delegate, met the store manager and area manager to raise concerns regarding the sourcing, labelling and stacking of meat at the store. They explained that a store based in the rural heart of Wales should be supporting Welsh farmers by stocking and promoting home produced lamb and beef.

"We were deeply concerned at our initial visit to the store that consumers were not always able to clearly define Welsh produce on the shelves and even in some instances, the choice of purchasing Welsh meat was not available.

"We are really pleased that Somerfield have recognised the need to make Welsh meat, which has been produced to the highest quality health and welfare standards, more prominent on their shelves. Somerfield will be launching a promotion for Welsh meat which has been re-branded with a new logo which should make the recognition of Welsh meat much easier. We hope they continue to support the Welsh livestock industry in this way."

NFU Cymru are continuing their efforts encourage shoppers to support Welsh farmers and have expressed disappointment that a number of Welsh supermarkets stock Brazilian beef and New Zealand lamb, despite there being an abundance of Welsh lamb and beef available, which meets the highest quality assurance standards.

Ed Rees, NFU Cymru Livestock board Chairman, said: "In recent months we have repeatedly called on supermarket retailers not to turn their backs on home-reared beef and lamb in favour of cheaper imports, emphasizing the need to provide farmers with the correct market signals.

"However, certain supermarkets have no qualms in retailing Brazilian beef despite foot and mouth disease being prevalent in certain areas of the country, and readily stock New Zealand lamb even though Welsh lamb is currently widely available. If Welsh consumers want to be assured that the meat they are buying are of the highest quality, and has not travelled thousands of miles to reach Wales, I would urge them to shop at a butcher who specialises in locally produced, Welsh food."