Co-op to source all meat in the UK

Added 19 Sep 2016
The Co-op has extended its commitment to back UK farmers by sourcing all of its fresh bacon and lamb from Britain.

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.

The change will see the Co-op support around 1,700 British sheep farms each year. The in-store switch will take place from on May 1 next year to enable supplies to be sourced.

The year-round UK 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.

British lamb is produced to some of the highest welfare standards. All lamb and bacon produced will be Red Tractor assured and have met rigorous standards from farm to pack.

The announcement comes at the start of Love British Food Fortnight, which runs until October 2 and this year is sponsored by the Co-op.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “We should rightly have pride in Britain’s reputation for producing quality meat and this announcement is a real vote of confidence in our farmers and an industry that is the bedrock of our economy.”

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