Co-op stores have switched all their fresh meat to British-only

Do you shop at the Co-op? Picture: PA.
Do you shop at the Co-op? Picture: PA.

The retailer said it made the move to sell only home-sourced meats amid rising imports.

Quoting customs data, the store said meat imports to the UK have doubled in the last two decades, and called on other retailers to follow suit by buying local.

Jo Whitfield, retail chief executive of the Co-op, said: "British consumers will be shocked to see how meat imports have grown while at the same time retailers hang out the bunting and claim to back British farmers.

"Only the Co-op offers 100% British fresh meat all year round, and not just in the meat cabinet but also in our sandwiches, our pies and our ready meals.

"We can do this because we're owned by members, not shareholders, and can invest long-term in what matters to communities, not what provides the fastest shareholder return.

"I call on other retailers and food providers to do more to help our farmers, particularly as they head towards uncertain times."