Multiples and food industry groups have met at an event run by Business in the Community to thrash out plans to work together more closely to promote local sourcing.

The meeting was chaired by former Waitrose chief David Felwick, chairman of the British Retail Consortium. Attendees included Spar UK chairman Morton Middleditch, Asda local sourcing manager Karen Todd and IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

BiTC rural director Graham Russell said: “The purpose was to ask: are organisations supporting local sourcing working together effectively? Is there a collaborative agenda? It was not just a question of asking what companies were doing to support local sourcing, but also asking whether they knew organisations they could go to for help.

“Defra brought out a policy paper on local sourcing in July. The only group at our meeting who had seen that was Food from Britain. The paper made no mention of most organisations present or how support for businesses could be put on the agenda.”