Sainsbury is to relaunch its fresh produce packaging to highlight its pro-British buying policy.
The labelling will incorporate information about where the food was grown, which the multiple said would make it easier for shoppers to distinguish between home-grown and imported.
Senior buyer Russell Crowe said: “We’ve got a high percentage of British produce coming in, so why shouldn’t we shout about it? More and more consumers want reassurance about where their food comes from and this initiative will help them identify what was grown down the road from them.”
The new packaging will go on shelves just before Christmas, initially on pre-prepared veg and
then, at the end of January, on all other pre-packed produce.
Crowe said the multiple was striving to achieve year-round UK supply in as many fresh produce areas as possible by bringing seasons forward. “For example, we are buying our British cabbages earlier, which means we stop buying Spanish cabbages earlier. This is part of a general Sainsbury policy, though we have to keep an eye on quality, and often we are in the hands of nature.” Crowe also said Sainsbury wanted to increase the proportion of British tomatoes it sold from 65% now to 80% on key lines.
The multiple also hopes to continue selling British carrots for 52 weeks of the year, which it has achieved for the last two years, eliminating a four to six-week period in June and July when the company relied on imports from France.
The multiple used straw to protect the carrots in the ground but Crowe said a hat-trick would depend on how heavy the frost was next year.
In onions, Crowe said Sainsbury would have 52-week brown and red onion UK supply within two years. “We’ve already done it on a small scale this year with our 1kg pre-packs,” he said.
Richard Clarke