Waitrose has launched its Local Fresh Produce initiative in eight of its East Anglian stores, following a successful trial in Kent earlier this year.
The East Anglian initiative is one of four nationally, with others in the West Country, Wales, and Kent, but will be the first to signpost locally sourced produce with specially designed logos and packaging.
Graham Cassie, regional food buyer at Waitrose, said: “Customer demand and awareness of regional and seasonal foods is rising. The initiative aims to meet that demand and give them the chance to buy local produce and support local farmers.”
Waitrose’s support for local sourcing is well established - it runs a national Small Producers Awards each year, but this is the first time such a scheme has been put in place specifically for fresh produce.
Goods will be delivered direct from farmers and producers, bypassing distribution centres, reducing food miles and getting in-store more quickly.
The fresh products available will include brown onions, white cabbage, leeks, maris piper and organic salad potatoes, Brussels sprouts and Cox apples.
Convenience food and ingredients group Greencore’s full-year pre-tax profit before exceptional items and amortisation to September 30 rose 6.4% to 77.7m. The group also reported like-for-like sales growth of 7.5% in its convenience foods division, which it said would be a core focus for the future.

Shoppers are happy with the current Sunday trading laws and the majority do not want them changed, a survey by Usdaw has found. Some 62% of shoppers did not want shops to open for longer on a Sunday, while 63% said that Sunday should be different to the rest of the week.

Asda has slashed the interest rate on its credit and store cards by up to 3% for existing cardholders. Rates now start at 13%, down from 16.8%.

The fierce price war between the multiples is set to continue next year, saving consumers more than £3bn by the end of 2006, says a report by Verdict Research. It predicts 2006 will bring the third consecutive year of deflation in grocery. Lower prices saved consumers more than £1bn in 2005 compared with 2003 and food will cost almost 2% less in 2006 than in 2003, it added.

Tesco has started selling sex toys in 100 of its Extra stores. The retailer has linked up with Durex maker SSL International to sell vibrating sex rings. The retailer said it was selling the product as part of its healthcare offering.

M&S is to ban hydrogenated fats from its entire food range by mid 2006. The move follows its initiative to remove all artificial flavourings, colourings and hydrogenated fats from chilled ready meals.
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