Where To Source
There are many reasons to choose to source British. For example, it means the produce has traveled less from farm to shop, so regardless of how carbon footprints are calculated, it self-evidently has a lower carbon footprint. It also supports our farmers and economy.
There are also other factors to consider, such as the fact British animals are reared to some of the highest standards in the world:
- Britain's cattle passport system means that each animal can be uniquely traced to its dam (mother) and place of birth.
- No growth-promoting hormones are fed to sheep or beef cattle in the UK and any antibiotics are administered only under veterinary direction.
- British chicken is the safest chicken meat in Europe as all British hens are vaccinated against salmonella.
The Co-op and British Food
At The Co-op, we’ve always supported the UK farming industry and promoted British food. We have created long-term relationships with our farmers and suppliers so that we can work with them to give our customers complete transparency in our supply chain, which is built on honesty, fairness and trust. We have created The Co-operative Farming Groups, which, combined with a clear sourcing strategy, gives us a great future. At The Co-op, we support nearly 2,000 UK farmers and we have dedicated long-term relationships with more than 400 farmers, who are all part of The Co-operative Farming Groups. These 400 carefully selected ‘foundation’ farms focus on growing and rearing animals to The Co-op’s high standards. They provide chicken, pork, Hereford and Aberdeen Angus beef, Cambrian lamb and milk, through a transparent supply chain. Since the establishment of The Co-operative Dairy Group in 2011, we’ve launched five additional Farming Groups to cover our own-brand fresh British meat and poultry. Together, the six groups help to maintain our strict animal welfare policies and encourage long-term investment and improvements to sustainability, efficiency and training. We are committed throughout 2016 to extending our groups across additional species and produce to demonstrate our commitment to British Agriculture.
Beef - All our fresh beef and chilled prepared meals containing beef are 100% British, sourced from farms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Lamb – All our fresh lamb and chilled prepared meals are sourced from farms in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and New Zealand (when British lamb is out of season). Our Truly Irresistible fresh lamb is produced from native breeds in the Cambrian Mountains of Mid Wales.
Poultry - All our fresh chicken and chilled prepared meals containing chicken are 100% British, sourced from farms in England and Scotland. All our fresh turkey is 100% British, sourced from farms in England.
Eggs: All our fresh shell eggs are 100% British Free Range and carry the British Lion Quality Mark. All eggs used in our ingredients are from free range or organic hen.
Pork – All our fresh pork and sausages are all sourced from British farms. As well as sourcing British bacon we also source a small number of bacon products from pork farms in Denmark. We do this to ensure we are able to provide our customers with consistent availability of bacon all year round, at great value. As you would expect, we require our suppliers in Denmark to rear their pigs to equivalent welfare standards.
Fish and Seafood - To provide a clear sourcing standard through which The Co-op can ensure all own-brand fish has been responsibly sourced. To satisfy our members and customers’ expectations that own-brand fish, seafood products and ingredients are sourced in a way that ensures a viable future for the fishing and fish farming industries. All of our Smoked Salmon is 100% Scottish RSCPA Assured.
Fruit and Vegetables – When in season we have committed to 100% British produce on potatoes, carrots, cabbage, swede, onions and parsnips with plans to extend this even more to home grown fruit and vegetables.
Dairy – All our fresh milk is 100% British and sourced from a dedicated group of more than 200 dairy farmers across England, Scotland and Wales. These farmers make up The Co-operative Dairy Group. All of our own-brand liquid milk, yogurts, block butter and Cheddar cheese are 100% sourced from British milk.
Our strong commitment to provide British products for our customers ensures that our sandwiches, Food to Go, chilled ready meals, pizzas and pies all use 100% British meat and poultry*. The switch to 100% British meat and poultry for these key own-brand product ranges demonstrates our commitment to British farmers and meets our customers’ expectations of the Co-op.
* 100% British meat and poultry where appropriate, for example, excludes continental meats and New Zealand lamb in season.
For more details on our British scouring click here
Sourcing Meat - Beef, Lamb and Pork
Visit our meat pages for more information and facts (cuts, flavour, breed, etc.) about different the types of meats.
If you are ordering meat for trade, AHDB Beef and Lamb has put together a Meat Purchasing Guide which can be downloaded as an app. AHDB Beef and Lamb advise that it can simplify the meat ordering process and save businesses valuable time. Click here for more information.
Remember when buying meat that as lifestyles have changed in the last few decades, so have the dishes that we eat and the cooking techniques used. As a result some cuts of meat have become ‘fashionable’ and this is reflected in their price.
If you are a retailer…including cheaper cuts of meat in the range you sell will attract new customers and may encourage existing customers to spend more in your shop.
If you are a caterer or in public procurement…using less fashionable cuts of meat is a simple way of increasing the profit from a dish.
If you are a consumer…choosing less fashionable cuts is a good way to keep the weekly shopping bill down.
To find out where to source meat carrying the Freedom Food mark, contact the scheme at:
Tel - 0300 123 0014
Email - email@example.com
To find out where to source beef and lamb carrying the Quality Standard mark,contact AHDB Beef and Lamb at:
To find out where to source Scottish beef, lamb and pork, contact Quality Meat Scotland at:
To find out where to source Welsh beef, lamb and pork, contact Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) at:
Web - http://hccmpw.org.uk/
Tel - 01970 625 050
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
HCC also have website aimed at encouraging butchers and retailers alike to gather more information about ways to promote Welsh red meat - www.hcctrade.co.uk
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing specific types of beef:
To find out where to source Hereford beef, contact The Hereford Cattle Society at:
Tel - 01432 272 057
Email - email@example.com
To find out where to source Lincoln Red beef, contact the Lincoln Red Cattle Society at:
Tel - 01522 511 395
To find out where you can source Sussex beef, contact the Sussex Cattle Society at:
Tel - 01580 880 105
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source South Devon beef, contact the South Devon Herd Book Society at:
Web - http://www.sdhbs.org.uk/
Tel - 01392 447 494
Email - email@example.com
To find out where to source Red Ruby Devon beef, contact the South Devon Herd Book Society at:
Tel – 01404 812 800
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source Shorthorn beef, contact the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society at:
Tel – 0247 669 6549
Email – email@example.com
To find out where to source Aberdeen-Angus beef, contact the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society at:
Tel – 01738 622 477
To find out where to source Gloucester beef, contact the Gloucester Cattle Society at:
Tel – 01460 234198
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing specific types of lamb:
To find out where to source Welsh lamb and mutton, contact Eat Welsh Lamb at:
Tel - 01970 625 050
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source Herdwick lamb and mutton, contact the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association at:
To find out where to source Southdown lamb and mutton, contact The Southdown Sheep Society at:
Tel - 01986 782 251
To find out where to source Blackface lamb and mutton, contact the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Society at:
Tel – 01738 634 018
To find out where to source Dorset Horn and Poll lamb and mutton, contact the Dorset Horn and Poll Sheep Breeders’ Association at:
Tel – 01305 262126
Email - email@example.com
To find out where to source Portland lamb and mutton, contact the Portland Sheep Breeders’ Group at:
To find out where to source Black Welsh Mountain lamb and mutton, contact the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Breeders’ Association at:
Tel - 01387 870653
To find out where to source mutton, contact the Mutton Renaissance campaign at:
Tel - 0870 242 3219
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing specific types of pork, bacon and ham:
To find out where to source native breed, pedigree pork, contact the British Pig Association at:
Tel - 01223 845 100
Email – email@example.com
To find out where to source Berkshire pork, contact the Berkshire Pig Breeders Club at:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source Large Black Pig pork, contact the Large Black Pig Breeders Club at:
Web - www.largeblackpigs.co.uk
Tel - 0161 976 4734.
To find out where to source Gloucestershire Old Spot pork, contact the Gloucester Old Spots Pig Breeders Club at:
Web - http://www.gospbc.co.uk/
To find out where to source Tamworth pork,contact the Tamworth Pig Breeders Club at:
To find out where to source British Saddleback pork,contact the British Saddleback Breeders Club at:
Tel - 01403 783849
Email - email@example.com
To find out where to source Oxford Sandy and Black pork,contact the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig Societyat:
Sourcing Meat – Poultry, Poultry products and Game
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing poultry and associated products:
To find out where to source quality assured chicken, contact Great British Chicken at:
Tel - 024 7685 8664
To find out where to source eggs, which have been made using Lion Quality eggs, contact the British Egg Producers Association at:
Tel - 020 7608 3760
To find out where to source turkey products carrying the Quality British Turkey mark contact, the British Turkey Information Service at:
Tel - 0800 783 9994
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing game:
To find out where to source game, contact Game to Eat at:
Tel - 0207 840 9217
Email - email@example.com
Sourcing Diary Products and Fruit & Vegetables
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing dairy products:
To find out where to source products from the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo), contact the scheme at:
Web - http://www.omsco.co.uk/
Tel - 01934 511 115
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source specialist cheese, contact the Specialist Cheesemakers Association at:
Tel - 020 7253 2114
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing fruit and vegetables:
To find out where to source heritage potatoes, contact Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes at:
Tel - 01890 883 833
Email – email@example.com
Heritage varieties are most likely to be sourced direct from a local farmer. You should talk to the farmer about your plans in advance of the growing season so that he/she is able to make the necessary preparations.
To find out where to source asparagus, contact the Asparagus Growers Association at:
Tel - 01507 602 427
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source Bramley Apples, contact the Bramley Apple Information Service at:
Tel - 020 7052 8951
Email – email@example.com
To find out where to source tomatoes, contact the British Tomato Growers Association at:
Tel - 01243 554 859
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source summer fruits, contact British Summer Fruits at:
Tel - 020 7575 7654
To find out where to source leafy salads, contact the British Leafy Salads Association at:
To find out where to source English apples and pears, contact English Apples & Pear Ltd at:
Tel - 01732 529 781
Email – email@example.com
To find out where to source leaks, contact the Leak Growers Association at:
Tel - 01507 602 427
To find out where to source brassicas, contact the Brassica Growers Association at:
Tel - 01507 353 791
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source watercress, contact the Watercress Alliance at:
To find out where to source shallots, contact UK Shallots at:
To find out where to source beans and peas, contact British Beans and Peas at:
Sourcing Fish & Seafood
If you are a caterer…’Good Catch - the essentials’ is designed to help chefs make responsible decisions about which seafood to put on their menus. To download a copy, please click here.
To find out where to source British trout, contact the British Trout Association at:
Tel - 0131 472 4080
Email - email@example.com
To find out where to source certified sustainable seafood, contact the Marine Stewardship Council at:
To find out where to source Scottish seafood products, contact Taste of Scotland at:
Tel - 0131 563 7799
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source M&J fresh sustainable British seafood, contact M&J seafood at:
Tel - 01296 610600
Email - email@example.com
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing wines:
A useful guide to English and Welsh wine can be found by clicking here.
For information on Britain's largest vineyard please click here.
To find out where to source quality English wines, contact the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) at:
Web - http://www.ukva.org.uk/
Tel - 01285 860552
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source quality English and Welsh wines, contact the English Wine Producers at:
Tel - 01536 772264
Email – email@example.com
Below are some useful resources if you are interested in sourcing beers and ales:
To find out where to source British ale, contact the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) at:
Web - http://www.camra.org.uk/
Tel - 01727 867201
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out where to source British beer and ale, contact the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) at:
Web - http://siba.co.uk/