Supplies of Welsh lamb and beef in Co-op Group stores will double as part of a commitment to backing home-grown produce and locally sourced food.
The retailer will stock more than 30 lines of own-brand Welsh lamb and beef across its 160 food stores in Wales. The range will include Welsh Beef Peppered Grillsteaks, Welsh Lamb Leg Steaks and Shoulder Chops, Boneless Lamb Breast, and Welsh Beef Sirloin Steak.
With this move, the Group is nearly doubling the stock of Welsh lamb and beef in its stores, following a £1.5bn investment over three years in backing and sourcing own-brand British produce.
The retailer has already committed to providing only 100% fresh British bacon, lamb, beef, chicken, ham, pork, sausages, and turkey and is using British meat in all its chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches.
Wales’ cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “I am grateful to the Co-op for their commitment to doubling its stock of Welsh lamb and beef, offering it in over 160 stores across Wales. This news will provide a real boost to Wales’ lamb and beef producers.
“Food and drink is a real Welsh success story. We are already more than half way towards achieving our target of 30% growth in the sector by 2020. Welsh lamb and beef is at the forefront of our larder of world class produce and I am sure the range on offer in the Co-op’s stores will prove to be popular with customers.”
Simon Dryell, ranging manager for the Group in Wales, added: “Food provenance, quality and trust are important cues for customers and, with the Welsh brand world-renowned for its innovation, quality and traditions, we are proud to give it pride of place in our stores.
“The Co-op’s Farming Groups and its collaborative approach not only offer greater security and stability to local suppliers and producers but also plays a key part in unlocking opportunities.
“Backing local produce is about much more than just hanging out the bunting, and as a community retailer we are committed to investing in our local economies and providing new opportunities to showcase and celebrate great home-grown produce.
“Working together, the partnership approach is key to unlocking greater potential, meeting customer needs, adding value through product development and meal solutions, and ultimately making a bigger difference throughout the supply-chain.”
In addition to sourcing local beef and lamb, the Group is working with a range of micro-breweries. In December it added 11 new Welsh small micro-breweries to it range, including: Boss Brewing from Llansamlet, Swansea; the Llandudno-based Great Orme Brewery; the family-run Glamorgan Brewing Co, and Tiny Rebel, based in Newport.