Sainsburys to double sourcing of British produce
Thursday 13 October 2011
Ceding to the weight of public demand, or offering its own headline grabbing initiative in the wake of Tesco’s announcement it will be cutting prices, supermarket Sainsbury’s has announced it will attempt to double the amount of produce it sources from the British Isles by 2020.
The commitment was announced as part of the retailer’s sustainability plan, which was launched on Tuesday. Sainsbury’s also pledged to ensure all meat, poultry, eggs, game and dairy products it stocks are sourced from suppliers who adhere to independent higher welfare standards and reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent absolute and 65 per cent relative.
The NFU welcomed the supermarket’s announcement, which it said both supported increasing food security in the UK and took some pressure off the immediate threat of a price war, which Tesco’s announcement last month looked set to spark. NFU Director of Corporate Affairs Tom Hind today said, “The commitment to double the sourcing of British food should be commended; it is a bold and positive step for food and farming.
“It recognises the high quality and standards of production and environmental protection that British farmers already meet every day; those same standards that consumers increasingly expect in the food they buy.”
Mr Hind said the NFU would work with Sainsbury’s to ensure the supermarket kept its word. He said, “This will send a really positive signal to our British farmers and growers at a time when they are facing massive investment pressures and rising energy, fuel and feed costs,” but assured that, “We will be looking to Sainsbury's to work with us on the detail of the plan to ensure that the commitments have integrity and deliver sustainability for UK agriculture. We want to ensure that commitments to driving efficiency.”