Waitrose launches British-sourced corned beef

Waitrose is launching an exclusive British-sourced corned beef, which will be available in all its branches from 11 April.

The new Waitrose British corned beef, which is canned in Shropshire, is sourced from existing Waitrose suppliers to ensure full traceability, and uses less popular cuts, such as the shin and flank. The retailer said the move forms part of its commitment to utilise the whole carcase and ensure British farmers get a fair price for their meat.

It said that corned beef has remained a regular on customer shopping lists at Waitrose, with its retro image, versatility and long shelf-life ensuring its continued popularity.

The first product to be launched is a British corned beef and tangy pickle sandwich, with corned beef available in both cans and on the delicatessen counter in May 2012.
Waitrose sandwich buyer Roxanne Bennett said: “This is the final piece in the puzzle for Waitrose – buying British is hugely important to our customers and sourcing quality home-grown corned beef is a huge achievement.

“The same animals produce our rump steak, tasty pies, lasagne and now our corned beef sandwiches – we have full traceability of where our British beef comes from and we’re very proud of that.

“Customers can now get their taste of nostalgia with a corned beef sandwich, happy in the knowledge that it is now British, just in time for the Queen’s Jubilee.

“Due to its versatility and long shelf-life, corned beef has literally fed the British empire.”
David Prince, Waitrose beef farmer, said: “I feel proud to know that all the hard work we do to ensure the highest-quality beef can be enjoyed by customers, who up to now have had no alternative to South American corned beef.”

Since 1866, corned beef has been produced in South America, using primarily forequarter beef. However, the price of corned beef soared last year, with producers struggling with a shortage of beef and increasing costs. The effect was seen on the UK high street, with product prices up by 20% and many retailers seeing reduced stock on the shelf.

Until now only a handful of artisan producers have created British corned beef. In September 2011, butcher’s McCartney’s of Moira from Northern Ireland took the Supreme Champion title at the Great Taste Awards for its traditional handmade corned beef, while O’Doherty’s Fine Meats revived a 600-year-old recipe to launch luxury corned beef, Fermanagh Black Corned Beef, with beef sourced from local suppliers.

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