Farmers blew the whistle after discovering imported New Zealand lamb meat under a banner that read ‘The best Scottish lamb in season’ in a Tesco Extra store near Edinburgh.
The National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) said the display constituted “an abuse of the ‘Scottish’ brand”, and that it had written to Tesco demanding that the signage be reviewed while increasing its commitment towards home-grown lamb.
A Tesco spokeswoman has denied that the sign in question indicated that all lamb being sold in the store was Scottish, however, adding that all lamb products were “clearly labelled”.
“We recognise the quality of Scotch lamb and we are proud to be its biggest customer, and we sell more Scotch lamb than any other retailer,” the spokeswoman said.
“All of our lamb counters are 100% Scotch lamb all year round and our Tesco Finest lamb is also Scotch. Our pre-packed lamb, which is currently predominantly Scotch, is clearly labelled with the country of origin to allow our customers to simply identify Scotch products as part of their shopping choices.”
Tesco has faced pressure in recent months to stop procuring lamb from New Zealand, with angry farmers in Scotland protesting over low import prices which undercut them.
Despite Tesco being the biggest buyer of UK lamb, farmers say it should stop importing lamb altogether due to a glut of produce on the UK market.