Co-op makes buy British commitment

The UK’s fifth largest retailer The Co-operative Food has announced that it has made a switch to source 100% British meat, poultry and fish wherever possible.

The move demonstrates the supermarket’s commitment to British farmers as it has already supported the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU’s) Back British Farming Charter.

The supermarket explained it was attempting to commit to product quality and attract younger customers and will convert product ranges such as food to go, chilled ready meals and pies.

The new commitment will exclude Continental meats, prawns and tuna and will support 100% British where appropriate.

NFU head of food and farming Phil Hudson was pleased with the new announcement, saying: “Our own survey work showed that 78% of people agree or strongly agree that supermarkets should sell more food from British farms, so I welcome The Co-operative’s back to basics approach to a more direct, transparent and fairer supply chain.”

The chain has also improved many of its existing products with softer breads and extra fillings.

Chief executive of retail at The Co-operative Group Steve Murrells claimed the new move would take the supermarket to “a new level”. He said: “All our fresh chicken, pork, beef and turkey is 100% British, and switching to 100% British meat and poultry for these key own-brand product ranges forms a large part of the quality message. 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.”