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You told us that being able to buy British in our stores is important, and we couldn’t agree more! There are so many reasons that buying British is great, from supporting local farmers to ensuring high animal welfare standards.

That’s why we’ve always worked hard to get the best produce from UK farms to your table by stocking our shelves with British-farmed food. In fact, 100% of our fresh meat, milk, cream and cheddar cheese is now sourced from farmers in the UK.

Here’s some of our favourite reasons why it’s important to buy British.

It’s good for our farmers and their communities

Buying British is about more than just buying top-quality food. It’s also about helping support the farmers who produced it, like our Dumfries-based dairy farmers Richard and Grant, or like Tony in Norfolk, who farms turkey for us. 

The money you spend also supports those farmers’ families and communities, while creating jobs and directing money to their local economies. It even indirectly helps people like those who build and maintain the farming equipment, farm vets and more.

It guarantees higher animal welfare standards

We really care about animal welfare, which is why we require all our farms to be accredited to one of Britain’s national farm assurance schemes, like Red Tractor.

We also regularly send our dedicated agriculture team up and down the UK to carry out checks on the welfare of the animals in our British farms, helping you shop with peace of mind.

It’s an investment in our nation’s future

When you buy British with us, you’re bolstering our nation’s agricultural industry, creating further jobs, opportunities and demand. You’re also helping us include even more amazing British producers in our operations in the future, which at the moment is around 2,000 farms and 500 suppliers.

Plus, you’re even helping to inspire the next generation of farms via our Co-op Farming Pioneers training programme.

Mary who graduated in October 2018 had this to say about the programme:

“I joined Co-Op Pioneers in April 2016. It was the first of the Pioneers group and ran until October 2018. The programme has been a great opportunity to develop my business skills and has helped me focus on taking our business forward. I’m now in joint partnership with my father and in 2019 I succeeded the farm tenancy, something which would not have happened as quickly and easily without the support and competence I have gained from the programme. The pioneers allowed me to meet some forward-thinking farmers and make connections which will last a lifetime.” 

Want to know more about what we’re doing? Check out our Best of British report. 

And… it’s delicious!

Of course, we couldn’t miss out on a chance to talk about perhaps the most important thing about buying British – how it tastes! From tender Welsh lamb, to luscious, rich Cornish cream, sharp Somerset Cheddar and of course, Scotland’s legendary smoked salmon, British food is famous, and for good reason – it’s among the best in the world.

Ben Chilman,
Undergraduate Agricultural Marketing Co-ordinator

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. ARPLANG

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  2. I got notice in my email of a rude comment, but cannot find it here. What i would say is: As with all companies we should applaud the things they are doing right and thank them. That does not mean we should ignore the things they are doing wrong, but a little praise goes a long way and can encourage more good things to happen. When a company is doing something right, slagging them off will not encourage them to better efforts. Youi catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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  3. Hi Barbara, thanks for coming to us with this. We always try and source British wherever we can, but sometimes that can’t be done. We’re always looking on ways to improve this so I will pass your feedback onto the buying team to see if anything can be done. ^Ryan

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  4. Dear Co-op, I suggest the the Co-op; “Practice what the Preach”! For example, I bought a replacement 180grams jar of: Co-op Wholegrain Mustard (BBE JAN 2022 – 1014 101370 £0.69p) on 27th February 2021 from the Borrowash Co-op store where I know that stocks are always available. My concern(s) are: although the main ingredient is Canadian whole wheat, the product is produced in France, using French glass, metal, labels with French labels plus excessive mileage transporting it from France to the United Kingdom. Now that we have left the European Union (EU), why can’t the Co-op Group arrange for the Canadian whole wheat be shipped to the UK and then processed in a UK factory using British materials with UK labour? Your Co-op buyers should check and examine other Co-op label products which could be produced in this country! Regards, Barbara Smith.

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  5. I am so pleased with you have decided to make British suppliers a priority. One of the best aspects of Co-op shopping is the freshness of the food which is so important to good health and to know we are supporting our hard working producers is excellent.

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  6. I have little faith in the red tractor inspectors and am not happy at the level of concern at the co-op for the welfare of animals. The image is a case in point. It is NOT natural or caring to raise birds jammed into a big barn, under artificial light, fed only on grain meal. They should be able to wander freely and forage for themselves outside, on the grass, in the natural light, with their feed being only supplemental. ,The same goes for ALL animals. Conditions inside vary and some are more horrendous than others. Almost all of them require regular doses of antibiotics to prevent the inevitable disease which arises when they are kept in such conditions. Birds and animals restrained in close quarters display signs of stress, pecking or biting each other. So beaks are trimmed or tails cut off. These places are not farms, they are factories. https://farmsnotfactories.org/

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  7. I’d like to purchase British sugar and support the British grower, those who transport it to the factory and those who work in the refinery, that is a whole lot of British jobs and livelihoods but Co-op doesn’t stock it! It also would be better than importing with the carbon footprint that entails due to massive distances transported. Come on Co-op, keep it local.

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  8. It definitely is & I always do. Will be supporting the ‘Made

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  9. Much has been said in recent times about The Food Inspectorate. Please tell us how The Co oP are addressing this subject matter. From a Personnel point of view , I have Confidence in The Food Chain that Co oP operates. Long may it be a priority. Well done!

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  10. We need to help the farmers out and be able to make our country self sufficient.

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