Co-op to move to 100 per cent British bacon
17th Sep 2016 / By Alistair Driver
The Co-op will source all its bacon from Britain as part of a major commitment to home-produced food that will also see it move to 100% British lamb.
The in-store switch to 100% British bacon and lamb will be in place from May 1 2017 to enable supplies to be sourced.
Co-op said its new sourcing initiative would make it the only major UK food retailer to stock 100% 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 £1.5bn sourcing UK meat and vegetables.
The announcement comes at the start of Love British Food Fortnight, which is sponsored by the Co-op and runs from September 17 to October 2.
The Co-op has also pledged to market British products honestly by clearly identifying British products on packaging and in store to develop relationships with its produce grower base and provide greater availability of seasonal produce. This will include extending its Farming Groups.
The retailer’s retail chief executive Steve Murrells 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."
National Pig Association chief executive Zoe Davies said: “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.”
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “We applaud this bold move by the Co-op to sell only British lamb and bacon. In a week that saw farmers and politicians unite at Westminster to back our industry, this decision shows a real commitment to quality British food and the farmers that produce it.”
- Love British Food is the national campaign dedicated to promoting British food and educating consumers about the benefits of buying British. IT takes place every autumn and is the largest food participation event in the UK.