UK - UK retailer Co-op has extended its commitment to back UK farmers by pledging to sell only fresh bacon and lamb that is 100 per cent British by 1 May 2017.
The new sourcing initiative will make the Co-op the only major UK food retailer to stock 100 per cent own-brand fresh British beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon and turkey. It is already the only retailer to use British meat in all its chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches.
Under a three-year plan, the convenience retailer pledged to invest a minimum of £1.5 billion sourcing UK meat and vegetables.
The move has been welcomed by the pig industry. Zoe Davies, Chief Executive of the National Pig Association, commented: “This is an important step for the Co-op and is a resounding endorsement for British farming. It’s important retailers do more than rollout the bunting in their aisles to support UK farming and switching to home-produced bacon is the strongest move a retailer can make.”
Also welcoming the announcement, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The Great British brand is renowned across the globe for its quality, innovation and tradition. From our world-famous Welsh lamb to the classic bacon sandwich, British meat is not only delicious but also produced to the highest standards of quality, welfare and safety.
“We should rightly have pride in Britain’s reputation for producing quality meat and today’s announcement is a real vote of confidence in our farmers and an industry that is the bedrock of our economy. It’s great to see the Co-op taking the lead to celebrate the best of British and supporting our Great British Food campaign.”
Steve Murrells, retail chief executive, The Co-op, said: "We are a major supporter of British farming. This move is a first for a major food retailer and will see us invest millions more into sourcing home produced goods. It's an exciting time at the Co-op and our growing confidence is shown by our investment in UK farming as we do business a better way to meet consumer demand."
ThePigSite News Desk
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