Asda retracts its promise to stock British-only beef

Leeds-headquartered Asda has pulled out of the commitment it made in October to stock exclusively British beef, in a move which has angered farmers.

National Beef Association (NBA) chairman Neil Shand said he was “deeply disappointed” by Asda’s decision.

Asda responded their policy has had to change because of a rise in British beef prices.

“Whilst we continue to work hard to keep prices as low as possible for our customers, these increases are significant”, a supermarket chain spokesman told the BBC.

The NBA says its members are struggling to deal with escalating feed, fertiliser and energy costs. Shand said British supermarkets need to support domestic producers as much as possible.

All fresh beef in Asda’s premium Extra Special tier will remain 100% British and all of the chain’s fresh beef will be sourced from farms in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Beef makes up nearly half of all meat imports to the UK according to the British Meat Processors Association.

Other supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi, Morrisons and the Co-operative also have commitments to source 100% British beef.

Asda announced its own initial commitment after it was acquired by the Issa brothers, two entrepreneurs from Blackburn.