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We’re backing British farmers, 100%. All of our fresh meat is now sourced from British farms.
At the Co-op, we know food provenance really matters to our customers, which drives our enthusiasm to invest in the UK economy so that British food has pride of place on our shelves. British products are the ‘staples’ of our stores. From fresh beef, chicken, pork and sausages to the meat in our sandwiches, chilled pies and ready meals – we make it easy for our customers to choose British.
This report sets out our new three-year pledges for supporting Britain’s food future and how we’ll work with farmers, growers and small local suppliers.
Since we began in 1844, we’ve been sourcing goods from across the UK. Today, we continue to be a major supporter of British farming and home produced foods, trading with almost 2,000 UK farms and over 500 suppliers from across the UK. We also aim to invest further in the UK economy by building on our commitment to source more British goods – an investment we believe will amount to £500m a year.
Sourcing British food matters to us – not just because it contributes to the UK economy and employment, but also because our customers expect it. It offers reassurance and helps them trust food security and sustainability – and, of course, a viable agricultural sector is essential to feed the UK’s growing population.
At the Co-op, we have been labelling the origin of our products and key ingredients since 1997. What is legally required on pack has changed since then, but the Co-op still gives information over and above what is required.
We label the country or countries that the main ingredients in our products come from; be that beef in a ready meal, apples in an apple pie or milk used in cheese. This isn’t just where we’re keen to highlight the British credentials of our products or where there is a customer perception of quality linked to that country (such as Danish bacon) but anywhere in the world a characterising ingredient originates from.
The format that we declare the origin in may vary depending on the size of the label but we are as specific as possible. We also aim to restrict the sourcing of meat, poultry and farmed fish ingredients to a maximum of two individual countries to help us label this way, instead of us using the smallest geographic region such as EU, South America, but recognise this isn’t always possible.