British

We’re backing British farmers, 100%. All of our fresh meat is now sourced from British farms*.

At the Co-op, we know food provenance really matters to our customers, which drives our enthusiasm to invest in the UK economy so that British food has pride of place on our shelves. British products are the ‘staples’ of our stores. From fresh beef, chicken, pork and sausages to the meat in our sandwiches, chilled pies and ready meals – we make it easy for our customers to choose British.

Backing British

Support the UK's farmers this Christmas. We promise to provide only 100% fresh British beef, chicken, ham, pork, sausages, duck, turkey and milk to our customers. Read more about our commitment below.

Read our latest British reportSee our Christmas range

Since we began in 1844, we’ve been sourcing goods from across the UK. Today, we continue to be a major supporter of British farming and home produced foods, trading with almost 2,000 UK farms and over 500 suppliers from across the UK. We also aim to invest further in the UK economy by building on our commitment to source more British goods – an investment we believe will amount to 500m a year.

Sourcing British food matters to us – not just because it contributes to the UK economy and employment, but also because our customers expect it. It offers reassurance and helps them trust food security and sustainability – and, of course, a viable agricultural sector is essential to feed the UK’s growing population.

It’s important to customers because they want to see a sustainable farming industry, and there is a huge amount of support and enthusiasm for more British food in shopping aisles.

They also demand strong pledges from supermarkets on sourcing from UK farms as home-grown products instil greater confidence, appear more traceable and, above all, are important to the vast majority of today’s shoppers.

At the Co-op, we have been labelling the origin of our products and key ingredients since 1997. What is legally required on pack has changed since then, but the Co-op still gives information over and above what is required.

We label the country or countries that the main ingredients in our products come from; be that beef in a ready meal, apples in an apple pie or milk used in cheese. This isn’t just where we’re keen to highlight the British credentials of our products or where there is a customer perception of quality linked to that country (such as Danish bacon) but anywhere in the world a characterising ingredient originates from.

The format that we declare the origin in may vary depending on the size of the label but we are as specific as possible. We also aim to restrict the sourcing of meat, poultry and farmed fish ingredients to a maximum of two individual countries to help us label this way, instead of us using the smallest geographic region such as EU, South America, but recognise this isn’t always possible.

We asked pork producer Sally to share some of the ways buying British makes a difference to the whole community.

Boosting the economy

We hire four non-family members, who work between our two farms, and also use the services of all kinds of British businesses, from our five pig vets to local tradesmen like builders and electricians.

Securing the future

Some of the younger members of the family have signed up to the Farming Pioneers programme run by Co-op, to help improve their skills. The groups are great for young farmers when they’ve come out of college, supporting the next generation and giving them a platform.

Sharing resources

A farm isn’t a business that stands on its own, and we have a good relationship with other local farmers. We buy wheat and barley from neighbouring farms to feed our pigs, and straw for bedding. Then we gather up the used straw and give it back to the farmers to use as fertiliser on their fields. It goes full circle — and is a really sustainable way of farming.

Investing locally

Because of the stability we gain from working with Co-op, we can invest in the local community. We recently donated some money to the local hockey club to help replace their Astroturf. We also try to shop local — at Co-op and the corner shop.

Taking part

Our staff love getting involved with what’s going on in the community, whether that’s through teams like our hockey, football and cricket clubs, or meetings of local farmers.

Meet the producer

We went to the Kent countryside to meet fourth-generation strawberry grower Sean Charlton.