The Co-op has announced that sales of Welsh lamb increased by nearly 20% in the last year, following the retailer's commitment to UK agriculture.
Last May, the Co-op announced that it was ceasing fresh meat imports, with the aim of becoming the first UK retailer to sell 100% British meat.
Since then, as part of a £2.5 billion investment in UK farmed produce, the retailer has increased its number of lamb suppliers, with a focus on Wales.
"By working closely with our farming groups we have been able to supply Welsh lamb all year round – something that customers and farmers had told us is important to them," said Edward Reaney, Co-op's senior buyer for lamb.
"Our commitment to the UK farming industry is stronger than ever and the extension of our lamb farming group comes at a very exciting time for the Co-op.”
The Co-op has also extended its local sourcing programme in Wales, after reporting a 42% year-on-year increase in sales of locally-produced goods.
The convenience retailer now offers more than 500 Welsh-made products, including meat, bread, potatoes, preserves and pies.
"The Co-op is committed to celebrating and supporting local producers," said Simon Dryell, head of local sourcing at the Co-op.
"We recognise that one size doesn’t fit all for our smaller producers, and so our approach is designed to break down the barriers that these producers can often face, we don’t seek exclusivity for instance – we want these businesses to thrive in our communities, and for Co-op food stores to showcase great Welsh food and drink.”
The Co-op operates around 160 food stores in Wales.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.