Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco, is today expected to pledge to sell £1bn of local produce by 2011.

“More customers want produce that is fresh and contributes to the local economy,” Sir Terry will tell the National Farmers' Union annual conference later today. “They want to help local farmers and to know how the product has been produced."

However, the move has been criticised by the NFU which claims Tesco has failed to secure long-term supply agreements for beef, lamb and pork, according to the Daily Telegraph.

“We've been talking to Tesco for years but they've steadfastly refused to do anything,” an NFU spokesman told the paper. “What they are not doing is entering into long-term agreements.”