The Co-operative has pledged to source all its own-label meat, including frozen and processed products from British farmers from 2018.
In a new document published by the retailer, which outlines its plans for the future, retail chief executive Jo Whitfield writes that as a retailer that is ‘passionate about supporting local communities’, it had a role to play in advocating for British farmers.
“We will only source 100% fresh British meat for our own brand and in 2018, all of our own brand frozen products will also use only 100% British meat,” said Whitfield. “And when I say 100%, I mean 100%. From our pork pies, to our chicken tikka masala ready meals. From our lamb chops, to our shepherd’s pies. From our scotch eggs to the bacon in our BLTs, it will all be 100% British meat.”
At the beginning of May, the Co-op announced it would no longer import any fresh meat, dropping Danish bacon and New Zealand lamb. “Almost a tenth of all meat imports into the UK come from Denmark, which exports £550m worth of meat into Britain each year while New Zealand lamb accounts for £291m worth of UK imports,” said the retailer at the time.