Regulations to empower shoppers to back local farmers would bolster Welsh agriculture, says Llyr Gruffydd MS
On the first day of the Royal Welsh Show (Monday 24 July), Plaid Cymru’s agriculture spokesperson Llyr Gruffydd MS has called for regulations to force supermarkets to enable consumers to filter for Welsh meat when shopping online. He also called for on-demand grocery services to clearly label the origin of their meat.
Together with Plaid Cymru agriculture spokesperson in Westminster, Ben Lake MP, Mr Gruffydd has written to the UK Government urging them to introduce regulations to require that consumers have access to increased transparency regarding where meat is produced. Online shoppers should be given the right to filter for meat and poultry originating from Wales, say Mr Gruffydd and Mr Lake.
When shopping in the supermarkets, consumers can scan the shelves and see the labelling which indicates if a produce originates from the UK. Online, this is more difficult to do as consumers must either search through different items or enter keywords into the search bar. The ease with which consumers can see or select a produce which originates from the UK also varies between the online platforms used by the supermarkets.
The ability to filter is increasingly important in the face of recently signed Free Trade Agreements, which over time will see the removal of tariffs on sensitive agricultural products, undercutting Welsh farmers by making meat from Australia and New Zealand more accessible in UK markets.
Llyr Gruffydd MS said:
“On the first day of this year's Royal Welsh Show, Plaid Cymru proudly supports farmers and their efforts to promote Welsh meat.
“When buying in-store many of us will choose Welsh meat which is often easily identifiable on the shelves. The reality of our busy lives means that more and more are choosing to shop online, where the lack of an easy filtration system means that it is not as easy to choose Welsh meat. This undermines the hard work of Welsh farmers who take pride in producing meat of the highest quality.
“Together with Ben Lake, I have written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about this important issue. We believe that transparency and empowerment go hand in hand. By introducing new regulations that mandate supermarkets to enable easy filtering of meat by country of origin, we can empower shoppers to support local farmers and strengthen the Welsh agricultural sector.”