Calls for increased levels of transparency on labelling on all beef products, to include fresh beef and ready meals – clearly showing the country of origin – have been made by the Scottish Beef Association (SBA).

David Barron, chairman of the SBA, told The Scottish Farmer, consumers need to know what country the beef they are buying was produced in and not what country it was packaged, to allow them to make informed choices.

Speaking with the Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands MP and the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Scotland Office, Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid to discuss post Brexit free trade deals, the SBA said it welcomed the willingness of the Department for International Trade and the Scotland Office to engage with the Scottish beef industry to avoid the dangers of beef produced with lower food welfare and environmental standards finding its way onto British supermarket shelves without proper import checks or country of origin labelling. However, it remains sceptical that the infrastructure will be in place to enforce them.

“We are also concerned that without strict labelling legislation, particularly in relation to ready meal ingredients, the Scotch Beef brand will continue to be undermined by beef being incorrectly labelled as British.

“We are appreciative of the work done by the Department for International Trade to lift bans and open up new markets for Scotch beef. However, without parallel action to increase competition amongst beef processors in the UK and intervention by government to widen the remit of the Groceries Adjudicator to include the whole supply chain, the benefits of increased trade will not reach farmers’ pockets or be translated into a return to profitability on Scottish farms.”

He added that the continuing decline in the national beef herd has far reaching consequences for rural communities and landscapes as well as jobs throughout agricultural and food processing supply chains.

Mr Barron also said the SBA would continue to lobby government to ensure a fair deal for Scottish beef farming.

Meanwhile, Aldi continues to lead the way on The Scottish Farmer’s Retail Radar for the week commencing June 22, with 96% of its beef products being Scotch, while 94% of its lamb range originated in Scotland. All other products in the category were British.

This compares to Asda where Scotch beef accounted for just 16% of the range and they had no Scotch lamb on shelf. Some 26% of the beef range was imported from Ireland with 55% of the lamb brought in from New Zealand.

New to our Retail Radar, The Co-op boasted a good representation of products from Scotland with Scotch beef accounting for 72% of the range and Scotch lamb at 57%. All other products were British.

Lidl also had a core range of Scotch beef and lamb with British barbeque products supplementing the range. Scotch product made up 87% of the beef range and 50% of the lamb.

In Morrisons, Scotch beef accounted for 57% of the range with Scotch lamb at 72%. All other products were British

In Sainsbury’s just 13% of beef was Scotch with 7% imported from Ireland while 57% of the lamb was Scotch with 23% from New Zealand.

Tesco continues to disappoint with Scotch beef accounting for 33% and no lamb on shelf from Scottish farms. Imported beef from Ireland made up 31% of the range with New Zealand lamb taking 29%.


% of Scotch % of Non Scotch

Beef Nov-19 60% 40%

wc 22/6/20 52% 48% 8% Irish

Lamb Nov-19 54% 46%

wc 22/6/20 45% 55% 20% NZ

Percentage of range that is Scotch

Beef Lamb

Nov 19 W/C 22/6/20 Nov 19 W/C 22/6/20

Aldi 100% 96% 100% 94%

Asda 15% 16% 19% 0%

Co-op 67% 72% 67% 57%

Lidl 100% 87% 100% 50%

Morrisons 70% 57% 75% 72%

Sainsburys 15% 13% 57% 54%

Tesco 78% 33% 67% 0%