The Co-operative Food has reinforced it’s commitment to farmers when it signed the Back British Charter by converting a number of product lines to 100% British meat, poultry and fish, wherever possible.
The move by the UK’s fifth largest retailer includes its new Food to Go breakfast and lunch range, chilled ready meals and an extended selection of chilled pies. The changes are expected to be in store from September 16.
The Co-op launched its own British Farming Groups earlier in the year, designed to cement relationships with producers, deliver a continued investment in quality and provide shoppers with a more consistent and transparent supply chain.
NFU head of food and farming Phil Hudson said: “The Co-operative has already expressed its support to Back British Farming by signing our new online Charter. Today’s news really demonstrates the retailer’s commitment to British farmers in sourcing only British meat and poultry for its key own-brand ranges.
“In a survey commissioned by The Co-operative earlier this year, 72% of people said it was very important that the UK has a sustainable farming industry, with 22% saying it was quite important.”
Waitrose became the first supermarket to pledge its support to the Back British Farming campaign.
The chain’s Director of Agriculture Heather Jenkins said: “It’s great to see to see the NFU championing British food and short supply chains – something we have done for many years. Central to the way we source all our food is our British focused best in season policy.
The NFU has welcomed the support. We believe it’s crucial consumers hold their shops to account. If British produce is not on your supermarket shelves, ask them why.
NFU President Peter Kendall said: “Consumers are increasingly showing their support for British farming and are our best ally. I would ask to them to continue showing their support by demanding of their local supermarket, restaurant, or MP – what are you doing to Back British Farming?”