A cross-party group of MPs has written an open letter to supermarkets calling for them to incorporate a ‘Buy British’ section online.
The letter, co-ordinated by Conservative MP Dr Luke Evans, has been supported by 110 MPs from across the political spectrum.
It stated: “Our ask is simple, create a tab that collates produce from farmers,” citing consumer choice, environmental benefits and support for farmers as reasons to make the change.
The letter outlined that the proposal would give consumers “greater power in their choices”, enabling them to support the nation’s farmers “quickly and easily”.
“Farmers say the best way to support them is simple: buy British produce,” said Evans, MP for Bosworth.
“Supermarkets are keen to support our food producers and we know the public want to play their part, but this easy signposting doesn’t currently exist for millions of people who do their food shop online.”
The MPs said the change could be easily put in place with many supermarkets already labelling British produce in store.
The letter has also been been signed by Dr Neil Hudson MP, who triggered an Efra Comittee inquiry into food security with the resulting report calling on the prioritisation of domestic production to keep the nation well fed.
“Buying British produce helps grow the economy, cut our carbon footprints and bolster the nation’s food security,” said Hudson. “The public understands this and so a simple change of a webpage will help ensure home-grown food is easily identifiable to consumers so they can better support the British farmers who work tirelessly to keep the nation well-fed with nutritious food.”
The letter follows mounting concerns from food producers over a lack of support for British-grown produce.
In May, UK cucumber growers were forced to bin crops as retailers prioritised cheaper foreign imported produce over UK-grown, meanwhile data from British Apples & Pears has revealed many major supermarkets are underindexing on stocking UK fruit.