28 February 2002
Local sourcing is still too low on supermarkets' agendas, a year after the foot and mouth crisis broke out.
Helen Szamuely, author of the Countryside Alliance report A Threat to the Countryside, which was issued before the outbreak of the disease in February last year, said a focus on local supply chains was in both suppliers' and retailers' interests.
"Supermarkets have argued that farmers don't supply what consumers want, and that they can't get food locally, but local sourcing must be in their interests," she said.
"There needs to be full communication to explain why farmers are disadvantaged against other suppliers."
Szamuely's comments follow talks between Tesco and farmers over prices paid for supplies.
Although supply chain issues are likely to feature prominently in the three government inquiries into the crisis, Szamuely said a public inquiry was also needed now that the crisis was over.