Co-op commits to working with more small local suppliers
The Co-op has made a commitment to double the number of local small suppliers it works with to 1,200 by the end of next year.
It has made the pledge in a five-point charter which sets out principles to foster closer relationships and support for local suppliers.
The charter also includes an undertaking not to seek exclusivity to help small businesses to grow.
Steve Murrells, retail chief executive, Co-op, said: “These are prized local products. We know our customers care about the provenance of their food and are keen to champion British products wherever they can.
“As a community retailer we want to make a difference in the communities we serve, working with more small suppliers who produce locally loved products to give great British food pride of place on our shelves.”
George Eustice, food minister, said small businesses were the heart of the food and drink industry from family-owned microbreweries to local vegetable suppliers.
“They are also at the heart of the UK economy, with small and medium food and drink manufacturers generating more than £22bn a year and employing over 127,000 people.”