The Co-op and British Food
At 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 Farming Pioneers, which, combined with a clear sourcing strategy, gives us a great future. AtCo-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 sourcing click here