By Alec Ross

Phase two of ShelfWatch, the largest ever survey of food being offered on Scottish supermarket shelves, is now under way.

For phase one in January, an independent research firm visited 71 stores across mainland Scotland. Researchers looked at own-label beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, vegetables and dairy products on offer in several multiples. In all, more than 15,000 products were reviewed.

Since the phase one results were reported, Asda has attended NFU Scotland’s annual conference, and a further meeting is taking place. NFU Scotland has also met with Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s since Phase One and meetings with M&S and Morrisons are planned.

NFU Scotland chief executive John Davidson said: “We know that Scottish consumers want to support Scottish produce and our major retailers have a responsibility in facilitating that. Over the coming year, ShelfWatch will identify those retailers who are giving outstanding support to local food production in Scotland and those who we feel should be doing more.

“Our ambition is that, when we come to complete our final ShelfWatch at the end of this year, we see a marked improvement in the availability of Scottish produce in Scottish stores, allowing our consumers to fully support the hard work of Scottish farmers and crofters.”


Lambs of all classes were readily bid for at Newton Stewart yesterday, with the best bred types making 400p/kg and more and the heaviest sorts achieving north of £200/head, topping at £214 for a Charolais from High Barness.

There was an end of season feel to a hogg trade that peaked at £205 for Suffolks from Culmalzie or 350p/kg for Beltexes from Glenstables. And cast tups sold to £208 for Beltexes from North Port O’ Spittal, with ewes peaking at £179 for pure Suffolks from Redbrae.

A smaller consignment of calves at Carlisle yesterday peaked at £625 for a British Blue bull calf from Jeanfield. A pen of 13-month old Simmentals topped the bullock trade at £1,430/head, and a phenomenal pen of 80 yearlings from Guise broke the Wednesday sale record at £5,500 for Limousin cross heifers.

Prime bullocks at Dingwall on Tuesday averaged 301p/kg and sold to 306p/kg or £1980/head for a Limousin cross from Udale, while old season lambs averaged 364p/kg and sold to 395p/kg or £175/head. And feeding sheep sold to £184/head gross.

Ewes with lambs at foot at Lockerbie on Tuesday sold to £135 for Texel cross shearlings from Cowden Burn, while North of England hoggs with Suffolks at foot achieved £155 for Clickham. Store hoggs continue to meet with demand and sold to £145 for Beltex crosses from Mosshill, and feeding ewes proved equally attractive to buyers, peaking at £138 for a Texel cross ewe from Pilmuir. And an Aberdeen Angus yearling from Sorbie led the store cattle trade at £1,130.

Dairy cattle at Ayr on Tuesday peaked at £2,250 for a freshly calved Holstein Friesian heifer from Crofthead, while a small number of stirks and calves easily maintained last week’s rates by selling to £580 for a British Blue cross bull from Over Enoch with heifer calves selling to £460 for an Aberdeen Angus cross from Brocklehill.