Ed Bedington
A leading UK retailer has pledged its support to British farmers with the launch of a new campaign.
Asda used its annual farming conference last week to launch a Buy British' campaign to promote its range of British meat, produce and dairy products.
The campaign will be promoted under the banner Good Honest Value ­ Celebrating Home-grown Produce' across all 259 of the chain's stores.
The retailer will be investing £1.3m on instore promotions, new labelling and NPD.
It will also see the launch of 60 new British products including pork steaks with Thai butter and English Stilton with champagne and strawberries.
Asda said it was hoping to increase sales for farmers while educating customers about where the food comes from.
Chris Brown, Asda's head of agriculture, said the campaign was launched following an NFU survey which highlighted most consumers had lost touch with rural Britain.
"Customers tell us that they prefer to buy British produce wherever possible. But many don't realise that 90% of the food we sell is actually sourced from within Britain. That is why we are committed to educating customers about where their food comes, while continuing to work with farming partners to increase the amount and range of British produce we sell."
The campaign is also looking to extend UK growing seasons in a bid to combat foreign imports. A 12-week sampling programme will run alongside the campaign to promote different products from the meat, produce and chilled sectors.
Brown said the retailer would also improve labelling: "By working in partnership with farmers we have been able to devise a new open and honest labelling policy that clearly highlights country of origin."