NFUS identifies improved labelling on Scottish meat
Published:  06 May, 2014

ScotchWatch, NFU Scotland’s (NFUS’) ongoing examination of the amount of Scottish meat labelled as Scottish in supermarkets north of the border, has highlighted some positive developments.

The scheme tracks retailer commitment to ensuring meat from Scottish farms is labelled as Scottish, and NFUS representatives have been checking the ratio of shelf facings dedicated to Scottish labelled meat as opposed to meat labelled as British or imported.

NFUS has found that there has been an increase in beef identified as Scottish in Tesco stores, while Lidl has started labelling its chicken as Scottish instead of British. The union has contacted both retailers to congratulate them on their efforts.

NFUS food chains relationship manager Kylie Barclay said: “While retailers have a strong commitment to Scottish produce, we discovered food from Scottish farms appearing in Scottish stores under British or own-brand labels.  We have a great story to tell and started ScotchWatch with the intention of making the Scottish label the preferred option.

“This month, there was a significant increase in the volume of fresh beef in Tesco stores clearly identified with the Scotch Beef branding. During the first three months of the year, ScotchWatch found that just over 20% of fresh beef in the Tesco stores visited carried the Scotch label. In the April visits, that figure had gone up to almost 90%.

“Given the recent turmoil in the Scottish chicken sector, we felt it appropriate to extend our ScotchWatch activity into this sector. In January, Lidl was displaying only British-labelled chicken, but it was pleasing to see many product lines clearly identified as Scottish when we visited stores in April.

“ScotchWatch has shown that positive things are happening in helping Scottish consumers clearly identify Scottish produce and we will continue to work with all retailers in encouraging them to make good use of Scottish labelling.”