A group of Welsh farmers, fed up with the tumbling prices for prime lamb, have launched an initiative to boycott the sale of lambs on the week of 1 – 7th of August. They hope that their protest will send a message to the supermarkets that enough is enough and help raise awareness for the falling lamb price with the local consumer.
While #NoLambWeek was being launched on Twitter, Iona and I were doing our food shop at one of our local (I say local, it is over 30 miles away…) supermarkets.
I knew #NoLambWeek was coming, partly because some of the organisers had chatted to me about it before hand, but also because of the ever increasing disgust of both farmers and consumers at the amount of imported, and lack of British, lamb that was appearing on their supermarket shelves that was appearing on my Twitter timeline on a daily basis. It was only a matter of time before someone had had enough.
— Chris Russell (@ChrisRussell76) July 15, 2015
— Farmers Weekly (@FarmersWeekly) July 27, 2015
Anyway, back to the supermarket. With all the doom and gloom, I felt it would be nice to highlight a (sort of) British supermarket that, in my opinion, are doing a great job at supporting British farmers and British produce.
We do our food shopping at Aldi, and as a farmer, it is wonderful to see the shelves of our local stores packed with fantastic British produce. 100% of Aldi’s fresh meat is British, which is a massive boost to food producers, and since moving to Scotland it’s great to see such a vast amount of Scottish produce on offer too.
It’s a stark contrast to some of our other local supermarkets. We have a number of other major supermarket chains on our doorstep and it is nearly impossible to find good quality British produce there. Fresh meat is not clearly labelled and if you want some British bacon you are wasting your time! That’s why we travel around 20-30 miles to either of our local Aldi stores in Newton Stewart or Dumfries.
Obviously, supermarkets are businesses and they have to offer a wide choice of produce to suit every income and need to meet the the demand for fresh produce all year round. To do this, there is going to have to be some imports. I, and I’m sure most other farmers understand and accept this. However, if British agriculture is to thrive and survive, the farmers and food producers need to work together with the supermarkets to ensure British produce is available when in season and that everybody is rewarded correctly for their work, at whatever point in the chain it occurs.
It is great to see Aldi doing their best to source and supply as much fresh British, and in some cases local, produce at affordable prices. Well done Aldi! Super Duper!
Where do you all shop and how are they at supporting local suppliers? Is #BuyingBritish and #BuyingLocal important to you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please, do pop me a comment below!