I am absolutely delighted to be able to say that from today Co-op will be the only major UK food retailer to stock 100% British fresh meat – something no other major UK retailer can say. 

And when I say 100%, I mean 100%. From our pork pies, to our tikka chicken masala ready meals, from our lamb chops to our beef rogan josh, from our scotch eggs to the bacon in our BLT – all will use British meat. 

Like many supermarkets, we already sell a lot of British fresh meat. Our beef, chicken, ham, sausages, duck, and turkey are all British, but from today we are adding 365 days a year, bacon and lamb to our 100% British commitment. That’s for everything from sandwiches, to ready meals to fresh meat.

That makes the Co-op true pioneers, because no other major British retailer can say this, and that makes me really proud.

It’s a surprise to most people, but meat imports into the UK have doubled over the last 20 years hitting over £6.2bn.  As a retailer that is passionate about supporting local communities and our desire to demonstrate our support to our British Farmers, we felt it important to play our part in addressing the balance.

Because we are owned by our members, we can make these decisions – ones we’ve been making for nearly 180 years. From leading the way in Fairtrade to championing The One Water Foundation, we have a proud history in doing the right thing for communities home and abroad.

I hope others will join us in our latest championing move; but for now, let’s just say I’m so proud our Co-op is leading the charge in its move to being 100% committed 100% of the time.

Join Us and together we can all support British Farmers.

 Jo Whitfield
Co-op Food CEO (Interim)

Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. Great news for our farmers

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  2. It’s amazing that ALL products with meat will be British – well done! As a member of our National Council I was recently asked by a member whether we have any plans to expand our range of lamb as he would like to have a wider choice of cuts. Maybe something we could look at Jo?

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  3. Please confirm: does “British fresh meat” mean that all animals are born and raised in Britain, and slaughtered (humanely) at approved British abattoirs?

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    • Sis you get a response to this question please. I’m trying to find out the same thing

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      • No, no response at all, which I found disappointing. It was a very serious question as producers of meat products can label them British if made here, in spite of ingredients coming from other countries. Additionally, “British farmers” may have imported stock – hence why I want confirmation that all meat used from British farmers is ONLY from animals born and raised in Britain. Similarly, are all slaughtered at approved British abattoirs? I expected (hoped for) an immediate Yes to all parts of my question.. No reply has left me suspicious.

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  4. What about Irish meat ? At the moment at least half my shop has British items boycotts work both ways but create losers on both sides

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    • Hi Stan, our 100% British meat sourcing commitment sees the Co-op change from Danish bacon and New Zealand lamb to British. We haven’t sourced own brand fresh meat from Ireland for many years. Our commitment is not targeted against Ireland or linked to EU negotiations. We trade wholly in the UK and as a co-operative owned by members in the UK we are continuing our policy to support local communities, including farmers, and is in response to our members telling us that British sourcing is important to them. ^Catherine

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  5. Excellent news. Will frozen meals and meat be British too ? The next step should be British cheese from British milk used in ready meals. Is this possible?

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  6. This is great news for British farmers. Does the Co-op have any plans to only sell meat that isn’t slaughtered under the religious slaughter exemption, to ensure that welfare at time of killing is as high as possible? If not would you be willing to be the first group to actively label meat products that have been religiously slaughtered and allow customers to decide for themselves?

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  7. This is good news and a great start. Now we need to push to all food sources being guaranteed Non-GMO.

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  8. YES Support our farmers all the way.

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  9. I’m afraid I only buy meat from the local butcher. This is because he guarantees that his meat is locally sourced and has been slaughtered humanely. There should be clear labelling to inform shoppers precisely where their meat comes from, and whether the animals have been killed by halal ritual or by more conventional slaughterhouse methods.

    Of course supermarkets must cater for all their customers, but that should not be an excuse for failing to provide informed choice – both for those who want halal meat and those who don’t.

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  10. Delighted that you are supporting our British Farmers. This is really good news. Morrisons give customers the option of paying a few pence more for milk and the extra goes directly to our Dairy farmers. I always take this option when I can and would be happy to do the same when I shop in our local Co-op, if the choice was there, sadly it is not at the moment.

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  11. Good to see that you are supporting British Farmers. Your next step is to 100% source from High Welfare Scheme members, as you do with your Egg sales and some Fresh Pork. The so called Red Tractor Assurance scheme is an audit on what farms should comply with anyway.
    Lets be one jump above the rest before other retailers beat us to it..

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  12. When will you extend this to Sugar? I support the Fair Trade scheme for items such as coffee and bananas which can’t be grown in this country, but what’s fair about not being able to buy British sugar ? – Please give us the choice.

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  13. Can you confirm that your own brand meat is non halal

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  14. ..yes, British meat…but….Halal and the like are widespread in the U.K….England, so although it is British, it can still be Halal religion.

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  15. Just for the sake of clarity – When you say British are you talking Great Britain (excluding N Ireland) or UK (Eng, Wales, Scotland, NI) or even British Isles (including Eire, Isle of Man and Channel Islands)?

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  16. […] the Cooperative has taken steps to ensure that all its own brand meat products are sourced from British farms. Not just raw meat, but their pork pies, ready meals, sandwich meats, bacon. All meat, […]

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  17. I have been a coop shopper and member for quite a few years now. I like very much how ethical they are with their products! How ever as a vegan of 5 years now there is not very much choice with ready made vegan meals at our local coop in Leicester which is why I have to shop elsewhere for these products! It would be great to have some coop own brand vegan meals available! Its good to see dairy free choices of plant milk but would like to be able to buy vegan cheeses and dairy free spreads too!

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  18. This is great news – but the really important issue is whether of not the meat is non-Halal and there seems to be no information about this.

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    • Hi Pat. All Co-op own-brand fresh and frozen meat and poultry sold has been humanely stunned prior to slaughter, and all abattoirs and processing plants supplying our own-brand products are required to work to the standards laid down by our strict animal welfare requirements as well as the Humane Slaughter Association in their Codes of Practice.

      We do sell some branded Halal certified meat in a small number of stores where there is sufficient demand, but again this is all pre-stunned prior to slaughter. Thanks, ^Scott

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  19. […] we’re backing British farmers by selling only British fresh meat all year round. The same goes for the meat in all of our Co-op […]

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  20. I understand that halal is not stunned and is only allowed if it is for religious reasons, then surely this is abusing the law, the majority of meat is bought by the non religious. Can you guarantee the coop does not sell its majority of meat to a religious following ,, and if sold in the Coop it is labelled halal.

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    • Hi Janet. All Co-op own-brand fresh and frozen meat and poultry sold has been humanely stunned prior to slaughter, and all abattoirs and processing plants supplying our own-brand products are required to work to the standards laid down by our strict animal welfare requirements as well as the Humane Slaughter Association in their Codes of Practice.

      We do sell some branded Halal certified meat in a small number of stores where there is sufficient demand, but again this is all pre-stunned prior to slaughter. Thanks, ^Scott

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  21. I will be doing ALL my meat shopping at the co op from now on.Not only because it is all British meat, but also because it is non halal.And the halal meat that co op sells is clearly labled. At last a supermarket l can trust to promote British Farmers.

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  22. Since discovering that halal certification is a massive money making industry with funds used to spread Islam, I will no longer be buying ANY product that has halal certification logos.

    As you can tell, from the Tesco Christmas ad, many people are upset at slowly being forced into consuming halal products. We are looking for alternatives and we want to make make conscious decisions on our purchases.

    As the Halal certification process leaves a lot to be desired, can you please either post or describe what the halal cerfication logo looks like?

    Or will these products be very clearly marked on shelves, or kept separate.

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#TheCoopWay, Food