Co-op makes commitment to 100% British frozen meat

The Co-operative has expanded its pledge to supporting British agriculture, by selling 100% British own-brand frozen meat.

This pledge is part of a new five-point plan by the retailer supporting Britain’s farmers – with a commitment to sourcing £2.5 billion (bn) worth of UK farmed products. The three-year scheme is an increase of £1bn on its 2014 commitment.

Earlier this month, The Co-op pledged to source 100% fresh British bacon and lamb in a move that it believes will convert enough bacon rashers to British to make almost 100 million bacon butties.

Furthermore, the retailer will work towards the responsible use of antibiotics within its supply chain to tackle disease resistance. It aims to boost research and development into animal welfare, and to develop initiatives that will boost food knowledge among shoppers.

“The Co-op is firmly backing the British farming community,” said Steve Murrells, group chief executive of The Co-op.

“Our multi-billion pound investment in home-grown goods is a ringing endorsement for the quality standards of the goods farmers produce. The Co-op can do this because we look to the long-term and aren’t driven by a fast profit for shareholders. We’re about making the right choices for our members and the communities we serve.”

He continued that in “uncertain times”, now was the right time to support UK farmers. “We have just introduced only own-brand fresh British lamb and bacon in our stores and, from next year, we’ll only use British meat in all our frozen foods,” he explained.

Looking to the future, The Co-op will extend its young farming pioneers scheme to support the next generation of farmers.

The retailer has also made a pledge to sourcing more British fruit and vegetables.

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