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.
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."
The change to 100 per cent British Lamb will see the Co-op support around 1,700 British sheep farms each year across England, Scotland and Wales. The all year round supply will be achieved by farming a variety of native breeds that produce lambs at different times of the year, promoting breed diversity across British lamb producers.
National Farmers Union President Meurig Raymond said: “In the face of market uncertainty post-Brexit, the Co-op’s commitment to source British lamb all year round is particularly important in providing the support and stability to help British sheep farming thrive and sends a clear message that British lamb really is the best in the world.”
TheSheepSite News Desk