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FUW welcomes Aldi announcement, but more commitment is needed

The FUW has long urged supermarkets to commit to the procurement of Welsh and British lamb and beef, as well as dairy products.

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(l-r) Aldi’s Buying Director Will Barstow, FUW Managing Director Alan Davies, FUW Glamorgan County Chairman Ritchie Walker, Environment and Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths, NFU Cymru’s Jonathan Huntley and Wyn Evans

The announcement made by retailer Aldi to introduce PGI branded Welsh Lamb products in 29 stores in south and west Wales has been welcomed by the Farmers’ Union of Wales, but the Union says more commitment is needed.

The FUW has long urged supermarkets to commit to the procurement of Welsh and British lamb and beef, as well as dairy products, and to ensure prices paid by suppliers or through direct contracts are such that confidence is revived to the extent which is now needed.

FUW Managing Director Alan Davies, who attended the official launch of the product lines on Thursday October 13 in Cardiff, said: “It is great news that Aldi is joining a wide range of retailers who have already made a commitment to sourcing Welsh PGI lamb and beef. However, we need that commitment to be extended to all retailers, across all stores and producers need to get paid a fair price with fair contracts.

“What is worth noting as well is that we have a huge market here at home for our produce – in light of our exit from the EU we must make every effort to promote Welsh lamb, beef and dairy products to our home consumers, who offer an addition to export markets.

“The commitment made by Aldi should also serve as a reminder to the Welsh and UK Government to start planning for more sustainable and supportive public procurement policies. Our schools, hospitals, armed forces and all other public services deserve access to the top quality produce that we grow here in Wales, and our farmers and rural economies deserve recognition for what they produce.”

Will Barstow, Fresh Meat Buying Director, Aldi UK said: “We are delighted to be introducing five new Welsh Lamb products to our existing Fresh Lamb category as part of our commitment to farmers and local sourcing. Fresh lamb is a versatile product that can be used all year round and we are confident that the new lines will prove popular with shoppers at our stores in South Wales.”

Mr Davies added saying that: “I am renewing our call for immediate action to initiate draft legislation which will mandate the procurement of British produce by the UK public Sector and urge those supermarkets and food-outlets who have not made the commitment to British and Welsh produce to do so without delay. This will support rather than spite the sectors which lie at the heart of our rural economies.”

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