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Co-operative Sources All Meat From Britain

by 5m Editor
2 October 2007, at 11:40am

UK — The Co-operative is extending its support to British farmers by converting all its own-label fresh chicken to British sources from today.

Now chicken is sourced from the UK.

All The Co-operative’s fresh beef, fresh pork and fresh duck is already British, but the community-based retailer’s support for British meat and poultry is being extended to include all its own-label fresh chicken.

The Co-operative has carefully selected a small group of dedicated British farmers to embrace the retailer’s own higher welfare etquot ;Elmwoodetquot; standard for fresh whole chickens, which means the birds are nurtured for longer in more enriched environments. This will be extended to all Co-operative fresh chicken from early next year.

In response to increasing customer interest in the provenance of food,The Co-operative is launching a campaign from today championing British food - not only meat, but a whole range of foods sourced from the UK.

The campaign, which will be backed by national TV advertising, will highlight the sense of national pride in our food. Co-op customers can buy nationally-sourced food from their home country, for example Welsh hill lamb, English pork, Scottish Aberdeen Angus beef and Northern Ireland eggs.

Packaging on products such as eggs, milk and cheese will also reflect the fact they have been sourced within the four nations of the UK, by featuring the relevant flag or symbol, such as the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Throughout autumn, Co-op stores will also feature point of sale material that will highlight the provenance of food. This will include British produce such as apples and potatoes, which will highlight the UK country of origin.

The Co-operative’s unique position as Britain’s biggest farmer will also be promoted - at different times of year, depending on the season, some of the fruit and vegetables in store are grown on its own farms - including pumpkins, peas, potatoes, apples and soft fruit. The Co-operative Farms already hosts visits at a number of its farms to encourage children to learn about where their food comes from. In addition to this, The Co-operative is backing the Year of Food and Farming by providing GBP250,000 worth of support for the project to enable schools to visit local farms across the UK.

In support of home-grown food, The Co-operative has developed new products based on traditional favourites made with British ingredients. These include Lamb Casserole, Shepherds Pie, Bramley Apple Crumble and Truly Irresistible Sticky Toffee Pudding.

A new survey has shown that these traditional comfort foods remain as popular as ever with the British public.

The Co-operative surveyed British consumers to find out their attitudes towards home-grown food(1).

The results show that over two thirds of the UK population claim a strong sense of pride in our unique culinary heritage. Three quarters of people think British food is wholesome and hearty, with winter being nominated as the best season for eating British. The most popular meal - by age,region and gender - was the traditional Sunday roast, whilst crumble and custard proved the favourite dessert.

Guy McCracken, Chief Executive - Food Retail at The Co-operative Group,said : etquot ;We are committed to supporting British farmers and all Co-operative fresh meat and poultry is now British. We know this is important to Co-op customers, who are also increasingly interested in the seasonality and provenance of the food they buy. By working closely with British farmers,including many small local producers, we are providing the opportunity for our customers, whether they live in Scotland, Wales, England or Northern Ireland, to enjoy and take pride in the best foods sourced from their nation.etquot ;

5m Editor