Asda apologises to Midlothian farmer

Sue Sharp with a week old Scottish Lamb on her farm.
Sue Sharp with a week old Scottish Lamb on her farm.

A leading retailer has apologised to a Midlothian farmer after selling imported lamb incorrectly labelled as being from the UK.

Sheep farmer Sue Sharp, who farms with her husband Robert at Heriot Mill in Midlothian, purchased a leg of lamb at Asda in Galashiels, having specifically sought out British produce for Easter lunch.

With the label clearly stating that the lamb had been born, reared and slaughtered in the UK, Mrs Sharp was shocked when she unwrapped the leg to discover that it bore a New Zealand health stamp.

Sue Sharp told the Advertiser: “I was very surprised. I’m a local sheep farmer, so when I go to buy meat I look to buy British. I quite clearly saw a label saying born, raised and slaughtered in the UK. I was quite surprised by that as I had not seen a label so specific before. So I happily bought it.

“It wasn’t until I got home and saw the New Zealand stamp on it that I realised it wasn’t British.

“I was confused so I wrote to Asda. They came back and said it was an honest mistake. “But I keep thinking if I made the genuine mistake of walking out of one of their stores with something in my trolley I hadn’t seen and hadn’t paid for what would Asda say to me? Would they have said fine on you go, or take further steps?”

A spokesman for Asda said: “This was an isolated incident where a leg of lamb was accidentally mislabelled. We pride ourselves on product traceability and transparency and are committed to sourcing British products first when in season.

“This was a genuine colleague error for which we apologise and was not meant to mislead any of our customers in any way. We’ve briefed our colleagues at the Galashiels store to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Read more in this week’s Advertiser, out now.