NFU finds better retailer commitment to UK suppliers but relationships must improve

Supermarkets are improving their commitments to sourcing UK-grown produce but need to do more to build longer-term relationships with suppliers, an NFU review of the big retailers' corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies has found.

The report, the first to look at how supermarkets' CSR policies impact UK growers, compared performance by market share on UK sourcing, supplier relationships and sustainability.

It claimed: "Stronger, more trusting supply chain relationships, which give farmers longer-term security, stimulate investment by farmers and by banks," while also driving efficiency in the supply chain.

NFU director of corporate affairs Tom Hind said: "We've seen some great examples of retailers really pushing UK sourcing, others that are working closely with farmers and growers in terms of environmental concerns and even some retailers that are investing in research and development."

But he added: "All of the retailers we looked at could do more to establish clear baselines and targets that can be measured on policies such as sourcing.

"All could do more to highlight the role of Red Tractor Assurance schemes. And all could do more to strengthen relationships with farmers across all sectors."

Leading supermarkets NFU comments

Aldi "Opportunity to highlight proportion of fruit and vegetables sourced from UK."

Asda "Proportion of imported food high in some products."

The Cooperative "Lack of clarity on current proportions for fruit and vegetables. Examples of engagement with farmers focus on developing countries."

Iceland "No explicit mention of British sourcing commitments. No details on relationships or expectations of suppliers."

Lidl "Sources some fresh produce from UK but should confirm proportions."

Marks & Spencer "Extension to UK growing seasons an example of collaborative effort and creation of market opportunities for UK suppliers."

Morrisons "Strong seasonal supporter of produce but requires clarity on proportions."

Sainsbury's "Commitments to doubling British (sourcing) by 2020 (signifies) potentially a large positive impact."

Tesco "Could do more to flag importance of UK sourcing and relationships with farmers."

Waitrose "Red Tractor usage could be improved. Only British suppliers required to be LEAF Mark-certified."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will the fresh-produce growing season pan out with less labour?

How will the fresh-produce growing season pan out with less labour?

The new fresh-produce season is around the corner and Brexit just over a year away, yet the Government has still given no indication that it will enable seasonal workers to come to the UK in the volumes the sector requires, either in this season or any other.

What recent developments can help growers fight orchard pests and diseases?

What recent developments can help growers fight orchard pests and diseases?

Last week's British Independent Fruit Growers Association Technical Day (31 January), heard about the latest research in orchard pests and diseases and how to deal with them.

Is a move away from plastic produce packaging now inevitable?

Is a move away from plastic produce packaging now inevitable?

A tipping point has been reached in the attitude of retailers and the Government to waste plastic which is likely to affect suppliers' future packaging options.