from Jane Wakeling, regional foods manager, Food From Britain

Sir; Food from Britain welcomes the move by Waitrose to introduce branded, locally sourced fresh produce and work more closely with local grocery producers (‘Waitrose trial heralds more local sourcing’, The Grocer, January 29,p5).
As part of its Defra-funded programme to increase awareness across the country of Britain’s regional food and drink offering to retailers, Food from Britain has been working with the regional food groups and Waitrose for more than a year to help foster positive relationships. The two parties now meet regularly to discuss ways of working together.
It is excellent that Waitrose is committed to selling locally sourced food and I hope that it is able to extend its available range shortly.
Increasingly, consumers want to know the origins and traceability of their food and drink.
Waitrose’s new plans will give its customers the peace of mind that these products are produced in the region in which they are sold.