The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has written to ASDA regarding the supermarket’s decision to step away from its pledge to source 100% fresh British beef just weeks after implementing the pledge.
The letter comes after farmers from across Wales contacted the union to express their anger and disappointment.
The FUW has met with representatives from ASDA on a number of occasions throughout the pandemic to discuss the importance of supporting Welsh and UK producers at a time when global food supply chains were most volatile.
Therefore, the commitment to source 100% British dairy, potatoes and fresh beef following the sale of a majority stake of the retailer had been welcomed.
In a letter to ASDA, FUW President Glyn Roberts said:
“Nevertheless, the recent decision to withdraw the pledge to source 100% fresh British beef after only two months of doing so has come as a shock for FUW members, particularly given the fact that other major retailers have committed to maintain such promises despite current market conditions.”
While the UK red meat sector has experienced buoyant prices over the past twelve months, Mr Roberts wrote, this must be considered in the context of cuts having already been made to farm support payments in England, increased input costs, supply chain issues which ASDA will also have experienced and uncertainties surrounding further red tape, future agricultural support and the impact of trade deals.
“For example, during the week ending 1st January 2022 the GB deadweight price for all cattle was on average 10% higher year on year whilst GB fertiliser prices in November 2021 were on average 153% higher than 2020 levels.
“In light of the great deal of uncertainty and volatility facing the UK agricultural industry, the FUW would urge ASDA to reconsider its commitment to sourcing 100% fresh British beef in order to provide certainty to UK producers that they won’t simply be replaced in future,” wrote the Union President.