Tesco is rolling out its Direct to Store local milk sourcing initiative nationwide after a trial significantly boosted sales of its Localchoice milk brand.

The sourcing trial led to a three-fold increase in sales of Localchoice in the 10 weeks to 14 January, claimed supplier Dairy Farmers of Britain, which sources and packs the milk.

The Direct to Store approach sees milk delivered by DFB straight to Tesco stores.

Under previous distribution arrangements, it was taken to other processors' depots before being taken to the retailer.

The long-term objective of the national rollout of Direct to Store is to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and sell more Localchoice milk. Neither Tesco nor DFB have so far released national sales figures for the brand.

DFB is also concentrating on developing Localchoice by working more closely with Tesco stores nationwide, with targeted marketing to raise awareness of the brand.

DFB commercial director David Potts said that Localchoice was a success as it met consumer demand for locally sourced products.

"Initial sales are really encouraging and as we evolve the offer and improve in-store execution of the brand, we are sure that sales will increase significantly.

"This initiative is extremely important to DFB as it aims to provide a sustainable future for those farmer members involved," he added.

Localchoice milk is sourced from nearby farms and was launched last May, marketed as a product that could help reduce food miles and boost local production.

Sold in 650 Tescos in England and Wales,Local-choice is slightly more expensive than standard milk, with suppliers being paid a higher price.

In October Tesco was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority after it was accused of misleading customers over the brand.