AHDB has released the Beef and Lamb Watch figures for June 2019, highlighting retailer performance by percentages of British facings.
British facings refer to the percentage of products available on the shelf to consumers that originate from Britain.
The results show Aldi and Co-op continuing to sell 100% British beef and lamb products, demonstrating their continued support for British farmers. The NFU welcomes those retailers who have stood by their public commitments in sourcing 100% of their beef and lamb from British farmers.
Budgens, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and Waitrose continue to sell 100% British beef in all their stores. This continued support for British beef is welcomed by the NFU, and again demonstrates their commitment to Back British Farming.
There has been strong improvement from Asda as they have increased their British facings by 16% (although still only stands at 63%) and Iceland by 31%. However, there has also been a decline in the percentage of British facings from Sainsbury’s and Tesco at 9% and 11% respectively.
In such a critical time for the British beef industry, due to the rapidly falling beef price, the NFU believes the whole supply chain including farmers, processors, the food industry, Defra and AHDB need to work together to find solutions to this emerging crisis.
There is a strong need for promotions and marketing of British beef products, to encourage and stimulate demand within the category. Coupled with this, new product innovation should be encouraged to ensure consumers continue to be excited about British beef.
The NFU will continue discussing these opportunities with the industry going forward.
Morrisons, Aldi and the Co-op continue to Back British Farming through their commitment of sourcing 100% British lamb. Marks and Spencers are not far off with 99% British facings, an increase of 5% this year. Tesco has made significant improvements in British facings (up 19% on last year) and Sainsbury's had an 8% increase to 53%.
Other retailers run a ‘best in season’ policy meaning they switch over from New Zealand lamb to British lamb when it is in season.
The British new season lamb availability this year has been good due to the good weather conditions earlier in the year. The NFU will be holding discussions with those retailers who have moved into British lamb later this year, to understand the drivers affecting this and understand what opportunities there are to promote British lamb.
Coming into the prime season for lamb, the NFU encourages the retail sector to find opportunities to Back British Farming where possible.
Read AHDB's market summary here.