WITH supermarkets importing 40 per cent of their produce, and costs rising as the value of the pound falls against the American dollar, it’s a potential win-win for consumers – and UK suppliers – if Bradford-based Morrisons starts to stock more food sourced from Yorkshire.
There certainly appears to be an appetite for this judging by a survey of the store’s customers – 85 per cent say the like to ‘buy local’ to reduce food miles and carbon emissions while even more, 95 per cent, want to support British producers.
Not only is this testament to increased awareness about food and the importance of the UK farming industry, but it also shows what is possible when consumers press for change – let’s hope that this new commitment also extends to all supermarkets paying a fair price for milk.
However Brexit does provide further opportunities for UK food producers, notably the Government having the power to set its own labelling laws to not only champion domestic farmers but ensure that there is no confusion about the provenance of products from overseas which are then labelled ‘British’ because they are merely packaged here.
There is absolutely no reason why Defra can’t prepare the necessary legislative changes straight away – it is, after all, headed by the Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom – but there seems a reluctance to do so. Why? Morrisons has taken a lead, the Minister should now follow.