Shoppers want more British food in supermarkets

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The results of the One Poll survey, commissioned by the NFU, come as the farming organisation holds its national conference in Birmingham tomorrow, Wednesday, with Tesco Chief Executive Phillip Clarke due to address the morning session, Farming Delivers for the Economy.

NFU President Peter Kendall said he believed that shorter and more traceable supply chains would help to alleviate the problems of recent weeks.

“Farmers have been furious about what has happened,” he said. “They have spent many years working to ensure the British supply chain is fully traceable from farm to pack and have upheld strong principles which are embodied in assurance schemes like Red Tractor. For me this is fundamental for consumer confidence.

“But more than that, I want to see retailers working on re-building consumer trust, improving transparency and partnership with farmers and the rest of the supply chain is critical. However, what we see currently in some sectors is real short-termism. The margin distribution in the supply chain needs more transparency and joined-up thinking if we are to tackle the dual challenges of volatility and environmental pressures.

“Our research also demonstrates the strong demand for British-farmed products, and so retailers, processors and food service companies have a responsibility to ensure there is clear country of origin labelling on the products that consumers purchase. Fifty-one per cent told us they find the information on food origin either confusing or very confusing. This has to change.

“More needs to be done to make labelling clearer and the NFU lobbies hard on this issue. For consumers I say be more demanding. Ask your retailers where the food they are selling comes from and look out for the Red Tractor logo carrying the Union flag to know the food you are buying is produced to good standards and traceable from farm to pack.”

One Poll carried out the survey of 1,000 people, aged 18-55+, on February 22 2013. There was a 50/50 split between male and female, and the survey covered all regions of England and Wales.