ALDI customers are facing a “shortage” of quality Scotch beef products, a Scottish Government minister has warned.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said a supplier change had meant shoppers at the discount supermarket were unable to explore a full range of homegrown beef – but said Scots “from all walks of life” should have access to the product.

It came after a question from Glasgow Anniesland MSP Bill Kidd, who raised concerns about the cessation of a contract between Aldi and one of its major Scotch beef suppliers, the Stirlingshire-based Scotbeef.  

The SNP MSP said it was “vital” Aldi found a new supplier against the backdrop of the “ongoing cost of living crisis” so even hard-up shoppers could get beef on the table.

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Kidd said: “It was recently reported that Scotbeef had lost the contract to supply Aldi with beef. Scotch beef is a product of unparalleled quality which everyone should be able to enjoy if they wish.

“So does the cabinet secretary agree with me that while Aldi does stock other Scotch beef products it is vital that during this ongoing cost of living crisis, discount retailers continue to provide as wide a range of these products as possible and give people affordable access to the best of Scotland’s larder?”

Gougeon replied: “I would absolutely agree with the member in that Scotch beef should be available for everyone from all walks of life.

“I know that Aldi over the years really strongly supported Scottish produce and its supply across Scotland – and that includes offering Scotch beef to their customers.

“But presently from my understanding of the situation, I think that there’s been a change in suppliers and that’s temporarily reduced the availability of Scotch beef in Aldi.

"However, they do remain committed to sourcing Scotch beef and they’re in the process of acquiring a new contract and will have it back on their shelves as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for Scotbeef said: "We are not able to discuss confidential commercial arrangements, but we would always strive to minimise any disruption or anxiety to our valued staff and suppliers in the event of any changes to our commercial circumstances."

Aldi was approached for comment.