As part of the NFU's Levelling Up campaign, we're highlighting businesses that are delivering for British food and farming, and answering some of the commonly asked questions about retailer and brand decisions.
On this page you can find out more about our 'Celebrating Brand Britain' project, and see some examples from retailers. We'll be updating this page regularly so keep checking back for more information.
Why has the NFU launched this project?
Building a world-class British food brand at home and abroad will help to benefit the country as a whole, helping people to reconnect with their diets and ensure everyone has the opportunity to eat great British food, regardless of their location or income. Championing British food and farming at home is a great place to start and this is how the Celebrating Brand Britain project came about.
Celebrating Brand Britain aims to highlight where British food and farming is already being championed in the UK. We want to use positive communication to showcase the ways businesses are already working to support British farmers and growers, as well as strengthen our calls to increase this support wherever possible.
How are we showcasing the ways businesses are supporting British farmers and growers?
We'll be explaining how businesses are meeting consumer demands for British food products and how they carry out initiatives or commitments that strengthen and amplify the critical role of farmers in the supply chain. But it doesn’t stop there. The Celebrating Brand Britain project will also explore how retailers and brands help farmers and growers to deliver for their own farming business, as well as how they deliver value for wider society.
We hope that by doing this we will increase understanding of businesses’ commercial decisions, provide insight into consumer demand and how these all impact on businesses’ sourcing and sustainability strategies. It may also help to identify future opportunities for NFU members.
We will be updating this page regularly, to showcase more initiatives and commitments from businesses that are 'Celebrating Brand Britain'. Keep checking back for examples from more retailers.
Focus on: Waitrose
Waitrose aims to bring the best of British ingredients to shoppers when they’re in season and at the peak of their flavour, and supporting British farmers is right at the heart of this ambition. In line with this, Waitrose has confirmed that from summer 2021, all its own-label pre-pack fresh and frozen lamb will be sourced from British farmers, 365 days a year.
Waitrose already offers British lamb on its fresh meat counters and organic lines, as well as stocking 100% British when in season. To meet the new commitment, the retailer has worked with its existing pool of British farmers to boost supply, as well as adding more suppliers to its list. Waitrose also offers own-label fresh chicken, pork, beef, eggs and liquid milk that are sourced exclusively from the UK.
Jake Pickering, livestock agricultural manager at Waitrose & Partners, said:
“We have always offered British lamb on our service counters all year round and we are delighted to be able to extend that strategy to the pre-pack lamb assortment. Britain is great at growing pasture and our move will help improve soil health and biodiversity on more UK farms. Waitrose & Partners is renowned for its range of quality lamb products, something we over-trade in comparatively to our market share. Although we are already in a great position, we are constantly looking at ways to innovate our product and are actively working with new and existing lamb producers around Britain to ensure we continue to offer great tasting, high quality lamb all year round.”
This move to 100% British lamb is a long-term commitment that was first publicised 18 months ago, highlighting that changing sourcing commitments is not without its difficulties. The NFU welcomes the commitment, with national livestock board chairman Richard Findlay calling it a “significant move that will provide a boost for the UK sheep sector at a time when our trading relationship with the EU has changed significantly”.
Recognising Waitrose as a strong supporter of the British livestock industry, the NFU will be unpicking some of the challenges it faced, and how the Waitrose supply chain overcame these, in order to ensure the sector has a sustainable and ambitious future. The NFU will continue its close engagement with Waitrose as it moves to meet this latest sourcing commitment.
Check back here for updates.