The multiples are talking up their rural credentials as debate on the future of the countryside gathers momentum. Tesco retail director David Potts said: "Tesco has always recognised the importance of being a good neighbour. We believe it is now time to work even more proactively with rural communities." Tesco is to develop links with community groups, encourage rural markets in its car parks, and fund local initiatives to promote local suppliers. Safeway said: "Where possible Safeway sources locally grown products for distribution to local Safeway stores and to a wider UK market where volume permits." It said local marketing was an important part of its strategy, and it has introduced a local marketing campaign to support its aim to be "best in fresh". And Sainsbury said: "More and more customers wish to buy local foods from their local supermarket. The team is constantly looking for new fresh products from local producers direct, at trade fairs, local delicatessens, farmhouses and creameries." {{NEWS }}

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