UK unions have met with Asda’s senior management team, including the recently appointed CEO Sean Clarke, to discuss the impacts of Brexit on the food and farming industry.
The NFU, NFU Cymru and NFU Scotland represented their members’ initial views on trade, labour and agricultural policy, identifying a number of concerns that have the potential to impact UK supply chains.
Access to competent labour within the processing, distribution and farming sectors was a key issue and there was a commitment from Asda and the farming unions to work together to represent these concerns.
In addition, the group highlighted the need for the supermarket chain to back British farming throughout the Brexit process. A full and frank discussion on Asda’s current import strategy led to a commitment from Asda to switch the following lines to 100% British:
-Own label grated Cheddar (has already moved)
-Own label block Cheddar (has already moved)
-Own label standard yogurt
The NFU plans to meet with senior teams from all of the top ten retailers in the coming weeks, to discuss Brexit concerns and reiterate the need for retailers to continue to back British and Welsh supply chains.