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Consumers keep it local

A report from the Consumer Council has found that consumers have more trust in local butchers, retailers, food producers and farmers than in the larger supermarket chains following the horse meat scandal. The report also indicated that a significant number of consumers, despite having concerns about the cost of food were willing to pay more for local meat. Ulster Farmer’s Union President Harry Sinclair said the report represented a great opportunity for the industry that should be capitalized on. “At the height of the horse meat scandal in February it was left to the UFU to organize industry meetings to develop the opportunities which the Consumer Council’s Report has confirmed are there,” he said. “Subsequently at the UFU Dinner in March the DARD Permanent Secretary announced that the Minister planned to convene an agri-food stakeholder meeting to discuss these opportunities further. Four months later we are no further on and we had expected the Minister and his department to show more leadership on this important issue. Changes in consumer attitudes and shopping habits are some of the positives to come out of the horse meat scandal. With more and more consumers putting their trust in the local supply chain rather than big supermarket chains, as an industry we need to ensure we are able to cope with growing demand. “Mr Sinclair said the horse meat scandal “exposed the complex and convoluted supply chain” used by many of the large supermarket chains, adding: “While some progress has been made in changing the current system, much more still needs to be done.”


Newry Democrat

30th July 2013