UFU discuss red meat with retailers and McDonalds
Tuesday, 17 May, 2016
Members of the Ulster Farmers’ Union livestock committees met major retailers and McDonalds at Balmoral Show. Top of the agenda was sourcing beef and lamb from Northern Ireland Quality Assured Farms, and how retailers and food service companies are trying to grow sales through new product ranges and marketing.
With some of the retailers already sourcing all their fresh red meat locally, the UFU was encouraged that those not doing so are going to increase their commitment to local suppliers to reflect the wishes of their consumers. The UFU highlighted that this was particularly important for new season lamb.
Cattle specifications were discussed with the UFU making clear farmers' commitment to deliver what the market wants. It was however stressed that messages from retailers on specification must reflect farming realities and must guarantee long term notice to allow farms to adapt. The UFU also raised the issue of in-store butchers. With retailers sourcing FQAS red meat for all their pre-pack shelves, the UFU said in-store butchers needed to show the same commitment. It said this would reflect consumer perceptions that the entire store is buying from local farmers.
UFU met with Tesco as part of a series of meetings with retailers. The meeting took place at Balmoral Show last week.
UFU livestock representatives met with ASDA last week, top of the agenda was sourcing of beef and lamb from NI Farm Quality Assured Farms.
UFU deputy president, Victor Chestnutt along with fellow UFU livestock representatives met with Spar last week to discuss red meat.