UFU will hold Tesco to account on local sourcing

Thursday, 14 March, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed Tesco’s renewed commitment to sourcing local produce and says it will ‘hold Tesco to account’ on its promises to source more of its produce locally in Northern Ireland. The comments were made following Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke’s announcement that the retailer will be doubling their spending on fresh meat from Northern Ireland and that the amount of locally sourced meat will go from 20% to 90%.

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “Tesco’s promise today to source more of its produce locally here in Northern Ireland is a positive and we will be closely monitoring Tesco to ensure they follow through. In tandem with this, we also expect Tesco to have a meaningful commitment to farmers’ profitability. Tesco cannot source produce locally and expect farmers to accept a farm gate price that is well below the cost of production.”

The UFU President met with the Tesco CEO at the launch of the Queen’s University Institute for Global Food Security. 

Harry Sinclair continued; “The agri-food industry is a cornerstone of the Northern Ireland economy. I am pleased that Queen’s have recognised this and made a substantial investment towards the industry. I would encourage Tesco to take their lead from Queen’s and ensure their commitment to Northern Ireland’s local producers is meaningful, both in terms of sourcing high quality, safe and traceable local food and ensuring their supply base is profitable. Consumer shopping trends are shifting and more people want to buy local. Tesco will be doing right by their consumers and by Northern Ireland’s farmers to stock the shelves here with produce grown and reared in Northern Ireland.”