Tesco and Asda stocking less British beef

The proportion of beef products in Tesco and Asda stores that are labelled as British has declined, according to the latest survey by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

In January 2021, 72% of beef facings in Tesco were British, which is down from 77% in November 2020. In Asda, 63% of beef labels were British, down from 65% last time round.

By contrast, Sainsbury’s has increased its proportion of beef facings from 82% to 92%. Lidl, Aldi, the Co-op, Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose all had 100% British beef labels during January 2021.

For lamb products, the proportion of British declined in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Lidl compared to November 2020. British lamb facings either increased or remained at 100% across the other main retailers.

Poots set to return to DAERA brief

Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots is set to return as Agriculture Minister in the coming weeks after stepping down from the role at the start of February to have cancer treatment.

The former Minister was back in the Assembly chamber on Tuesday taking part in a debate on health.

The current incumbent, Minister Gordon Lyons, had been invited to meet with the Stormont Agriculture Committee. “He has declined, given that he expects his ministerial term to be short,” committee chair Declan McAleer told colleagues last Thursday.

Clean machinery cert is ‘disproportionate’

The need for used agricultural machinery to be accompanied with new certification when moving from Britain to NI is “disproportionate”, Agriculture Minister Gordon Lyons has claimed.

Under the NI protocol element of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, used machinery must have a phytosanitary certificate (PC) which indicates that the machine is washed and disinfected.

“My Department is continuing to work with Defra officials to mitigate the negative impacts of this additional certification in the short term and seeking a longer term more workable solution which removes the burdens to NI businesses,” the DUP politician said in response to an Assembly question.